GRAPEVINE (December 27, 2011)—Police say they’re assembling a “family history” on seven people who died in a Christmas morning shooting rampage in an apartment in Grapevine.
Authorities have not yet released the names of the seven victims, but friends of the family identified the dead as the gunman, Aziz Yazdanpanah, 56; his estranged wife Nasrin Rahmaty 55; the couple’s two children Nona, 19, a Tarrant County Community College student, and Ali 15, a student at Colleyville Heritage High School.
Friends say Yazdanpanah also killed his sister-in-law, Zohreh Rahmaty, 58, who was Nasrin’s sister, her husband Hossein Zarei, 59, and the couples only child, Sahra Zarei, 22.
Friends told WFAA-TV Yazdanpanah probably showed up unexpectedly wearing a Santa Claus suit and opened fire on the six family members before killing himself.
He arrived late Sunday morning, after the family members had opened presents.
Two guns were recovered at the scene.
Grapevine police Sgt. Robert Eberling said the apartment was leased to a woman and her two children, one age 15 and the other either 19 or 20.
He wouldn't provide other specifics, but said investigators are "getting a clearer picture" of the situation surrounding the deaths.
He declined to release any details until the Tarrant County medical examiner provides "absolute confirmation of identities and the manner of death."
Eberling said the gunman showed up dressed as Santa Claus and the family appeared to have been opening Christmas presents shortly before gunfire erupted.
Police responding to a 911 call found four females and three males dead and two handguns nearby.
Spa manager Leah Langford said she became concerned when the wife of one of the dead men didn't show up for work Monday at the business where she had been employed for four years.
Langford said she got no response when she called the woman's cell phone, and said she couldn’t learn anything when she went to the Colleyville home and the Grapevine apartment.