GRAPEVINE -- The man who police say fatally shot six family members on Christmas Day before killing himself tried to make it look as if he was not the only shooter, according to search warrant affidavits released Wednesday.
Investigators found a .40-caliber Glock handgun with a 15-round clip on the body of the gunman, Azizolah "Bob" Yazdanpanah, and a 9 mm Smith & Wesson pistol with a 10-round clip in the hand of his 59-year-old brother-in-law, Mohamad Hossein "Cyrus" Zarei.
Officials believe that Yazdanpanah was the lone gunman and that he planted the gun on Zarei, who was shot several times with both weapons, Grapevine police Sgt. Robert Eberling said.
On Wednesday evening, mourners gathered at Parr Park in Grapevine to remember the victims, who were their friends, family, classmates, co-workers. There was little mention of how their lives ended.
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They looked at framed snapshots of the victims, lit white candles and huddled together as Amazing Grace played over a loudspeaker.
'I am shooting people'
Police said Yazdanpanah, 56, arrived at the Lincoln Vineyards Apartments in the 2500 block of Hall-Johnson Road about 11:30 a.m. Sunday.
Dressed as Santa, he quickly shot all the victims in the head. His estranged wife and two children lived in the apartment; three relatives were there to celebrate Christmas.
"A couple of the victims tried to hold up their hands to protect themselves from being shot," Eberling said. "But this was a small room and we believe everything happened in a matter of moments. No one had any time to run or protect themselves and everyone, it seemed, was taken by surprise."
The others killed were:
■ Fatemeh Rahmati, 55, Yazdanpanah's estranged wife.
■ Their children, Nona Yazdanpanah, 19, and Ali Yazdanpanah, 14.
■ Rahmati's sister and Zarei's wife, Zohreh Rahmaty, 58; and their daughter, Sara Zarei, 22.
Gunshot residue tests showed that Zarei had not fired the weapon in his hand, Eberling said.
On Wednesday night, police reported that a new audio review of a 911 call received from the apartment revealed that after the caller said, "Help, help," he said, "I am shooting people."
Investigators believe the caller was Azizolah Yazdanpanah, Lt. Todd Dearing wrote in a news release.
"The newly discovered audio was not heard on the original audio software over many playbacks, and was not heard/understood by the dispatcher who took the call on Sunday," Dearing wrote.
At Parr Park on Wednesday night, those at the vigil said that even after four days, nothing makes sense.
Not to Allison Baum, who was the best friend of Nona Yazdanpanah and remembered how Nona walked her to each class when she was a new student at Colleyville Heritage High School.
Or to Jonathan Garcia, who just months ago told his girlfriend, Sara Zarei, that he loved her for the first time.
"Nona's heart was so big," Baum said. "She took care of me, so I never had to be alone."
Speakers talked about the way Fatemeh Rahmati took care of others before herself, even neglecting doctor's visits to care for her family; the time Ali Yazdanpanah, as a little boy, dumped his aunt's roses into the backyard swimming pool, then proudly showed her and explained they had so much water they would never die; Sara Zarei's dream of becoming a doctor; the kindness and graciousness of Zohreh Rahmaty and her husband, Hossein Zarei.
"My life is better for having known them," said Rhonda Revels, a family friend. "Our lives are all better."
Before saying goodbye, they released white balloons, staring at the sky until pops of white faded to black.
Looking for a motive
Police are pursuing evidence that Yazdanpanah's motive was related to the family and financial troubles.
"We may never be able to discover the motive in this case," Eberling said. "We may be able to get close to an idea of what happened, but we may never truly know.
"With many suicides, the victims leave a note, and we've not come across that yet. We have removed a computer from his residence, but we have not had a chance to go through all the information that is stored there."
Eberling and a friend said nothing indicates that the shootings were "honor killings," a practice in some cultures that occurs when a family member kills a relative perceived as having brought shame upon the family.
"This was not an honor killing," Jessica Toumani, a friend of the Zarei family's, said in a statement e-mailed to the Star-Telegram.
"We are not sure of much at this point, but we are sure that is not a viable theory. Aziz was never religious, nor were any of the victims. They left Iran to escape the Islamic regime, which is why most Iranians left."
Several documents indicate that Yazdanpanah was in financial distress. For the house where he lived in Colleyville, the water bill was last paid Sept. 13 and water service was shut off Nov. 29, according to Mona Gandy, a Colleyville spokeswoman.
Property records indicate that the couple faced foreclosure three times on the home during the 2000s. The final notice was sent in August 2010.
Records also show that the Yazdanpanahs had filed for bankruptcy four times from October 1999 to August 2010.
Tarrant County court records indicate that Yazdanpanah filed for divorce on April 1, 2002, and his wife filed April 3, 2002.
The cases were dismissed on April 17, 2002.
Starting in 2008, Yazdanpanah filed several complaints with the Colleyville Police Department about a 30-year-old man his teenage daughter was dating.
Yazdanpanah said that he and his daughter received threatening calls laced with profanity and that he believed the man tried to strike his car head-on, according to a police report.
The threats were graphic, according to the affidavit, and the man said that he would never be taken alive and that if he was going to die, he would take Nona with him.
The man accused of making the threats was convicted on a terroristic threat charge. He served 30 days in jail and paid a $269 fine in October, according to the Tarrant County district clerk's office.
Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752
Sarah Bahari, 817-390-7056