FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Dynamic Plaques - FVT Plaques
FVT Plaques is introducing new dynamic plaques to recognize police and sheriff's...

Security Policy and the Cloud

Ask The Expert

Mark Rivera

FBI-CJIS Security Policy Compliance Officer

Mark Rivera, Customer Retention Manager and CJIS Security Compliance Officer with Vigilant Solutions, served for sixteen years with the Maryland State Police, retiring at the rank of First Sergeant with thirteen of those years at the supervisory and command level. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from The Johns Hopkins University and Secret clearance through the FBI, Baltimore.

Top News

Texas Santa Gunman Likely 'Snapped'

December 28, 2011  | 

A father who killed six family members in a Texas apartment on Christmas while dressed as Santa planned the crime, but didn't commit an "honor" killing, police said.

So far, Grapevine (Texas) Police investigators have uncovered no evidence supporting a theory that the crime was motivated by misplaced cultural pride, Sgt. Robert Eberling told POLICE Magazine.

"That was brought up early on, but we don't have anything [supporting that theory]," Eberling said Wednesday. "We don't believe that's what occurred here."

Aziz Yazdanpanah, who separated from his wife in March, killed six people including his wife and two children, before turning the gun on himself. The family had recently declared bankruptcy, and Aziz was squatting in their former foreclosed house. He was living in the house without power or water at the time of the attack.

Police said Yazdanpanah killed his wife, Fatemeh Rahmati, 55, their children Nona Yazdanpanah, 19, and Ali Yazdanpanah, 14, Rahmati's sister, Zohreh Rahmaty, 58; her husband, Mohamad Hossein "Cyrus" Zarei, 59; and their daughter, Sara Zarei, 22 before turning the gun on himself.

They all had gunshot wounds to the head and it appears they were killed in rapid succession. Cyrus Zarei was also shot in the chest and abdomen.

Investigators recovered two handguns (in .40-caliber and 9mm) from the scene and believe Yazdanpanah fired at least 25 rounds. Each victim was hit with rounds from both guns. One of the handguns was found near Zarei's body, indicating that Yazdanpanah may have tried to implicate his brother-in-law for the murders.

And because investigators found no suicide note, he probably didn't plan to kill himself until he realized what he had done, Sgt. Eberling said.

The crime scene presented a challenge for Grapevine Police personnel, who spent about eight hours processing the scene, after a several-hour holiday delay to obtain a search warrant from a judge. Several medical examiners from Tarrant County joined the department's four detectives and two technicians.

Investigators were careful to meticulously collect evidence and document their findings.

"Anytime you have a situation like this, it's always a good idea to slow your crime scene down and let the evidence answer some of these questions," Sgt. Eberling added.

By Paul Clinton

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Zip Code:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine