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Brooklyn Indie Rock Shooting: Two Yellow Dogs Members Among Four Killed In Murder-Suicide

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[Update: Yellow Dogs' manager has released a statement explaining the shooter was not a member of Yellow Dogs. It reads: "The shooter was not a former member of the band The Yellow Dogs, he was in another band from Iran and the two groups were acquaintances in the past. A personal conflict between the guys resulted in the dissolution of their relationship in 2012. The shooting resulted in the death of two of the members of the Yellow Dogs, Sourosh Farazmand (guitarist) and Arash Farazmand (drummer), along with a friend of theirs, fellow musician and author Ali Eskandarian. The shooter died from a self inflicted bullet wound on site.]

[Update: The New York Post has identified the alleged gunman as Raefe Ahkbar and the victims as Soroush Farazmand, Ali Eskandarian and Arash Farazmand.]

A disgruntled former member of the Iranian-born, Brooklyn-based indie rock band Yellow Dogs killed three of his ex-bandmates before turning the gun on himself, the New York Daily News reports. The violence took place early this morning (Nov. 11) in a building on Maujer Street in East Williamsburg, where police found four dead bodies, among them the suspected shooter.

The gunmen has yet to be identified, but police say the onetime Yellow Dogs member used a .308-caliber rifle to kill a 27-year-old man on the second floor and two additional men — one a 35-year-old — on the third floor. The suspect was found on the roof with a single bullet casing next to his body, according to reports. A fifth victim, a 22-year-old man, was reportedly shot in the arm and taken to Elhurst Hospital, where he remains in stable condition.

Formed in Tehran, Iran, in 2006, Yellow Dogs notably appeared in the 2009 documentary ‘No One Knows About Persian Cats,’ which won a Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Their move to Williamsburg was a matter of necessity, as the post-punk-influenced foursome had run afoul of local authorities.

“Rock ‘n’ roll is totally illegal in Iran,” frontman Obaash said in a 2011 press release. “Any sort of art that you want to make, you have to get permission from the ministry of culture. Some bands don’t even try — we were one of the first and only post-punk bands in Iran so we never went for that because it was obvious that we weren’t going to get that permission.”

After arriving in Brooklyn, Yellow Dogs quickly gained notoriety and played SXSW, where Spin tapped them as one of 50 bands to watch. “Yellow Dogs may be from Iran, but they’re a badass, Gang of Four-influences punk band with dancefloor-moving songs,” the magazine wrote.

“I see them almost everyday… It’s just unbelievable. To see somebody on Friday and on Monday you’re telling me they’re dead,” neighborhood resident Martin Greenman told the Daily News. “They seem like really nice guys,” he said. “They didn’t seem to be in anyway to be violent guys. They weren’t rabble rousers or anything like that.”

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