An Iranian musician reportedly a member of a band called the Free Keys has shot and killed two members of another expatriate Iranian indie rock band, the post-punk dance act Yellow Dogs, as well as a third musician and author named Ali Eskandarian overnight, wounding a fourth person at the bands’ townhouse in East Williamsburg before turning the gun on himself.

Two of the dead, Sourosh Farazmand and Arash Farazmand, were brothers who decamped to America from Tehran three years ago after appearing in a 2009 film, “No One Knows about Persian Cats,” documenting the semi-fictional tale of a band that played illegal rock shows in the Tehran underground scene. Band manager Ali Salehezadeh told the Associated Press that The Yellow Dogs then came to the United States to pursue their dream of playing their music freely in an open society:

“You can’t be a rock star in Iran,” he said. “It’s against cultural law. You can’t grow there as a band. They were great kids who people just loved. They looked cool and they played great music. They wanted to be known for their music. Now we’re not going to get to do that.”

The New York Times are reporting that the shooter knew the victims but members of both parties hadn’t spoken in months due to a “very petty conflict. There was a decision not to be around each other,” stated Salehezadeh. “They were never that close to begin with. This was nothing. We thought it was all behind us.” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told the Times that he suspects there was a dispute over money, and that he will continue to investigate the shooter’s motive.

The fourth shooting victim, a 22-year-old artist Sasan Sadeghpourosko, has been hospitalized and is in stable condition.

Yellow Dogs collaborators The Black Lips have issued a statement concerning the shooting on their Facebook, writing:

We are very upset to hear that our friends in the the band yellow dogs were shot and killed in Brooklyn last night. We were first introduced to this band by the great film director Baham Ghobodi in his film ‘No one knows about Persian cats,’ which showcased the alternative music scene In Tehran. When he heard that the band were in the states under refugee status we reached out to them to play a show with us at Webster hall they did and they were great. They were also nice enough to play our SXSW show case. This band risked there lives to escape Iran. They personally expressed to us how excited they were to be in the U.S where they could freely express them selves as artists. It is particularly sad that they were killed in America a place where they were supposed to have a new beginning. Yellow Dogs were really cool guys and we are gonna miss them 🙁 RIP blacklips

via APThe New York Times

Photo by Sylvester Zawadzki via The Yellow Dogs on Facebook