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Cops: Indie band shooting gunman had 100 rounds of ammo

This 2012 photo shows Yellow Dogs band members,

This 2012 photo shows Yellow Dogs band members, from left to right, Koroush "Koory" Mirzaei, Siavash Karampour, Arash Farazmand and Soroush Farazmand at The Gutter in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Credit: AP

An enraged bass player from Queens who gunned down three other Iranian musicians early Monday in Brooklyn had more than 100 rounds of ammunition for the assault rifle he used in the rampage, NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Tuesday.

Kelly said the gun Ali Akbar Mohammadi Rafie, 29, used was a .308 rifle that fired 7.62- mm ammunition and is considered an assault weapon by the NYPD. The gun was legally purchased sometime before 2006 in a now-closed upstate store and was never reported stolen, said a police spokesman. Investigators were doing further checks of the weapon's trail of ownership.

Rafie gunned down two brothers, guitarist Soroush Farazmand, 27, and drummer Arash Farazmand, 28, of the East Williamsburg-based indie band The Yellow Dogs, inside their row house in the 300 block of Maujer Street, police said.

He also shot and killed Iranian guitarist Ali Eskandarian, 35, investigators said. Eskandarian wasn't a member of the band but sometimes played with them, said the group's publicist, Ashley Ayers.

A fourth man was shot in the shoulder but was treated and released from a hospital Monday.

After he shot the four men, Rafie grappled with a member of the band the Free Keys, who was inside the house, before fleeing to the rooftop, where he took his life, according to police.

Two other members of the band, Koory Mirzeai, 26, and Siavash Karampour, 24, were not at the residence during the shooting, police said.

Kelly said Tuesday that Rafie's rage was a result of him being tossed out of the Free Keys -- an Iranian band with close ties to The Yellow Dogs -- about a year ago after a dispute over money. He had been trying to rejoin the band, Kelly said.

The Yellow Dogs were formed in Iran but Kelly said the Farazmand brothers left after their brand of music could not be performed openly there. They applied for asylum in the United States, Kelly said.

Eskandarian wrote on his Facebook page that he was born in Pensacola, Fla., in 1978, thus presumably making him a U.S. citizen by birth.

A U.S. diplomatic document obtained by WikiLeaks indicated that in 2009 some unidentified members of The Yellow Dogs had been interviewed at the United States Consulate in Istanbul to get a visa to perform a concert tour in the United States. The musicians provided officials with a summary of the repressive nature of Iran and indicated the complexity of cultural life there, the document showed.

"They estimated that several thousand Tehran youths are die-hard alternative- and hard-rock fans who regularly risk fines and detention to attend underground concerts and clubs," the document stated.

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