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3 dead, 1 critical in Roslyn Heights apparent murder-suicide

Police at the scene of shooting in Roslyn

Police at the scene of shooting in Roslyn Heights where a man shot three people before turning gun on himself. (Aug. 7, 2009) Credit: James Carbone

A man whose wife and daughter were moving away from the Roslyn Heights home where they had been living apart from him for the past year shot them and his mother-in-law Friday before turning the gun on himself, Nassau police said, in a bloodbath that rocked a quiet neighborhood.

>> Click here for the latest photos from the Roslyn Heights shooting

The man's estranged wife was the sole survivor of the shotgun blasts that took her daughter and mother, then the man himself, police said.

A neighbor, her hands still trembling in shock hours later, described hearing terrifying sounds as she walked by the street.

"I heard three shots," said Ambreen Saleen, who was on her way to a cafe shortly after noon. "I tried to go home and get my cell phone and dial 911. I'm shaking. It's terrible."

About 12:30 p.m., Mohamed Shojaeifard, 49, who lived in an apartment building elsewhere in Roslyn Heights, apparently shot his mother in-law, Batool Biraman, 66, of Greenvale; his daughter, Mandana Shojaeifard, 17, and his estranged wife, Haleh Mohseni, 40, who both lived in the same Elm Street house, police said.

Mohamed Shojaeifard then turned the shotgun on himself, they said.

He and Biraman were found dead at the scene. Mandana Shojaeifard was taken to Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, where she later died.

Haleh Mohseni, a physician, was in serious but stable condition Friday night. Det. Lt. Richard Laursen said her wounds were not life-threatening. Police would not release the name of the hospital where she was being treated.

The couple had been estranged for about a year and were divorcing, Laursen said, adding that witnesses reported an argument at the home earlier in the day. He said the husband returned later carrying a case that may have contained the shotgun.

Movers were packing up in another part of the house when the shooting happened. A moving truck was in front of the house about 10 a.m. Friday, neighbor Leon Malinoski said.

Mohseni is a family practitioner at Essen Medical Associates in the Bronx, according to the practice's Web site. She is also listed as a committee chairwoman for young physicians on the Bronx County Medical Society Web site.

Soon after the shooting, a relative of the victims ran past the police tape and screamed, "Oh, Jesus!" as police tried to comfort her. She wailed as officers led her from the house.

Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey personally responded to the shootings. "It's very unusual that we have three, possibly four people shot dead," he said as he walked onto the crime scene.

Neighbors stood nearby in disbelief.

"I'm shocked that it would happen around here because we're pretty close around here," said Emanuel Elias, who said he lives on a nearby street. "Everybody's like family."

Lynn Leclere, who has lived in the neighborhood for 25 years, said the older woman was always helping her daughters take care of their children.

"Those grandkids were her life," said Leclere, 49. "It's so sad. Such good people."

A woman who lives in the same building as Mohamed Shojaeifard said that just this week, he gave her an apple as he returned from the grocery store.

She said his daughter attended Roslyn High School, where she played violin and graduated this year. "The daughter was stunning," said the woman, who did not want her name used.

"This is totally out of character," she added. "He was devoted to his family."

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