A musician killed two members of the Yellow Dogs, an Iranian expatriate band, and a third person before taking his own life at an apartment in Brooklyn early this morning. A fourth person was wounded. The shooter belonged to the Free Keys, another Iranian group.
He knew the two members of the Yellow Dogs, band manager Ali Salehezadeh told the Associated Press, but they hadn’t talked in a while because of a disagreement. According to an account of the incident given by police, the shooter fired through a window of the row house in the East Williamsburg neighborhood just after midnight, then went inside and continued firing. He apparently shot himself in the head on the roof of the building.
According to The New York Times, the Yellow Dogs left Iran a few years ago and began a successful career in the United States:
At least three of the band members are originally from Tehran. It was there that they got their start in 2006, rehearsing in a makeshift soundproof studio and organizing clandestine concerts to avoid punishment by Iranian authorities. “We were super lucky we didn’t get caught,” said the bassist, identified in a video interview last year only as Koory.
The men described the long process of seeking asylum in the United States and then finding themselves play at prominent rock venues around New York, including Webster Hall, as well as at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Tex. “We can’t go back to Iran,” the singer, known as Obash, said in the interview. “Our parents, they have never seen us play.” Members of the group received asylum last year.
“You don’t feel like a foreigner in New York City at all,” Obash said. “Right now, we appreciate everything.”
Earlier reports had misidentified the gunman as another member of the Yellow Dogs. Authorities did not immediately identify him or the victims.