LANCASTER - Dr. Ali Rahmaty may have been one of the last people to speak with the six victims of the Grapevine shooting rampage on Christmas Day, and said they were in a good mood and had just finished celebrating Christmas.
He is an orthopedic surgeon in London, and victims Nasrin Rahmaty and Zohreh Rahmaty were his sisters. He now has one surviving sister.
Hours later as watched television in London, he had a sinking feeling when he reports that seven people had been shot dead in the Dallas area.
"I said to myself, 'I hope that's not my family,'" Ali Rahmaty said.
His premotion proved correct when a close friend phoned him and told him the horrifying news.
Dr. Rahmaty said he doesn’t have any hate for his brother-in-law, Aziz Yazdanpanah, who is believed to have shot and killed his wife, Nasrin Rahmaty, and their children, Nona and Ali, as well as his brother-in-law, Hossein Zarei, and his wife, Zohreh Rahmaty, and their only daughter, Sahra.
Dr. Rahmaty also gave more insight into the family's situation prior to the fatal shooting.
He said Aziz Yazdanpanah had been unemployed for 12 years. Nasrin Rahmati was the sole provider for the family during those years, until Dr. Rhamaty became a benefactor for her and the 2 children.
The bank foreclosed on their Colleyville home more than a year ago and the family had no running water or electricity. Dr. Rahmaty felt he had to get his sister, niece and nephew out of that situation and moved them into the Grapevine apartment where the shooting took place. Despite the marital problems between Aziz Yazdanpanah and his sister, Dr. Rahmaty held no ill will toward his brother-in-law.
"We tried to help the suspect to find a job, to provide for his family," Dr. Rahmaty said.
He said Aziz Yazdanpanah had a key to the apartment. A decision he now questions.
Somehow, I feel guilty [about] getting an apartment for them," Dr. Rahmaty said. "But I wanted them to be happy."
Dr. Rahmaty said the tragedy has shattered his life. He feels guilty that he doesn't know what they went through.
He made a plea for stronger gun control laws in the U.S. He said this sort of thing doesn't happen in Europe.
He now cherishes the last words he heard from his beloved family. They told him they wished he was there.
"In some ways, I wish I was there, because I would have gone with them too," Rahmaty said Thursday.