Wife Left Suspected 'Santa Claus' Killer This Year

Texas shooter believed to have made 911 call, say police
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2011 9:02 AM CST
Wife Left Suspected 'Santa Claus' Killer This Year
Two young girls walk by police tape that stretches through a Grapevine, Texas, apartment complex where police found seven people dead in an apartment on Sunday, Dec. 25, 2011 in Grapevine, Texas.   (AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)

(Newser) – Police are piecing together a troubling timeline of the Texas murder-suicide that left seven people dead on Christmas day in a Dallas suburb. The shooter is believed to be Aziz "Bob" Yazdanpanah, whose wife, Fatemeh Rahmati, left him and moved to Grapevine with their two children earlier this year, according to media reports. After Rahmati, daughter Nona, 19, and son Ali, 15, finished opening presents, Yazdanpanah is believed to have shown up dressed as Santa; police found no signs of forced entry. The other three victims are believed to be Rahmati’s sister, her husband, and their 22-year-old daughter.

Three of the victims were already inside the apartment, while the other three apparently showed up at the apartment just moments after the shooter did, say police. More of the troubling details emerging:

  • At 11:16am Sunday, one of the victims texted a friend saying that they had just finished opening presents and someone dressed as Santa had arrived.
  • Around 11:30, a man in a Santa suit was seen outside the apartment at a car. "Was he going out to get the weapons or had the shooting already occurred, we're not sure," says a police sergeant.
  • At 11:34, the 911 call from the apartment came in. Police initially said it was a silent call, but now say that a faint, breathless voice can be heard saying, “Help, help.” Police believe Yazdanpanah himself made the call, although they won’t say why, the Dallas Morning News reports.
  • Yazdanpanah and Rahmati had been separated since March, and the nearby family home—where Yazdanpanah continued to live—was foreclosed on last year. Yazdanpanah had reportedly filed for bankruptcy.
  • A woman who sometimes went to happy hours with Yazdanpanah and other friends tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram he often joked around, but says she was disturbed when he sent her the following text message on Dec. 4: “What do u call a guy who’s born in Austin and grows up in Dallas and then dies in Grapevine? ......... DEAD.”
(Read more Christmas stories.)

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