Update, 2:45 p.m.: An Iranian musician allegedly killed two members of the dance-punk group the Yellow Dogs, a third man and himself early Monday morning in what the police are calling a murder-suicide in the East Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, The New York Times reports.
The assailant, identified by the The Wall Street Journal as 29-year-old Ali Akbar Mohammadi Raffie, reportedly used a semi-automatic rifle to fatally shoot brothers Soroush Farazmand, a guitarist, and Arash Farazmand, a drummer, as well as a friend of theirs, Ali Eskandarian, according to Yellow Dogs’ manager, Ali Salehezadeh. Another man, Sasan Sadeghpourosko, was wounded in the shooting and treated and released from a local hospital.
Although the alleged shooter was initially reported to have been a disgruntled ex-member of the Yellow Dogs, the band’s manager said Ahkbar was in fact an acquaintance who had played in another group. While members of the two bands once had a relationhip, Salehezadeh said the camps had a falling out in 2012. The Yellow Dogs had emigrated from Tehran, the Iranian capital, to the U.S. in 2011.
Two other members of the Yellow Dogs, guitarist Siavash Karampour and bassist Koory Mirz, were not injured.
“They were always together and they were always friendly,” Martin Greenman, who lives a few doors down from where the shooting happened, told The Times. He added, “They looked like rockers.”
The group appeared in the 2009 movie No One Knows About Persian Cats, which won a prize at the Cannes Film Festival. The band’s song “New Century” appeared on its soundtrack. The group was also featured in a CNN piece on artists in the Middle East. “They think I’m an anarchist,” guitarist Karampour told the interviewer. Later he said, “They’re like my brothers. They’re more close than my brothers.” The report said that musicians who play rock music, which is deemed “un-Islamic” in the country, could be jailed and beaten.
In a tweet-length review of the band’s gig at SXSW in 2010, Rolling Stone wrote, ” Iranian post-punkers ride spidery bass lines, galloping hi-hats & garage-fucked guitar. Small crowd, great sound.”
The Yellow Dogs’ video for “This City,” a track they released last year, is below.