Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Update on the Texas Santa Claus Mass Shooting/ Suicide

This being Texas, anyone want to guess the guns were easily available?

Please note, the police use the terms clip and magazine interchangeably.

From MSNBC.com:
Santa Claus killings: Financially strapped dad planned family massacre, Texas police say
A father dressed as Santa Claus arrived to his family's Christmas party with two guns, executed his entire family and then killed himself -- and planned the entire thing, police said Tuesday.
Police believe the Christmas Day massacre in Grapevine, which left seven people dead still surrounded by Christmas presents and wrapping paper, was premeditated, Grapevine Police Sgt. Robert Eberling said.
Eberling would not officially identify the shooter or the victims, family friends identified the gunman as Aziz "Bob" Yazdanpanah. Last ear, a bank foreclosed on Yazdanpanah's house, and he separated from his wife in the spring.
Yazdanpanah's wife and two children are believed to be among the dead.
See video, read the original story at NBCDFW.com
Police received a 911 call from an apartment in the 2500 block of Hall Johnson Road on Christmas morning. When officers arrived, they found the door locked from the inside, and the worst crime in Grapevine history.
Police recovered two weapons on the scene -- a Smith and Wesson 915 model 9 mm pistol with a 15-round magazine, and a Glock 23 .40-caliber pistol with a 10-round clip, according to Eberling.
Both guns were used in the murder-suicide, but Eberling would not say how many shots were fired; only saying that there were still bullets in both guns.
Eberling said a text message prior to the shooting indicates that the gunman was probably invited to the party.
At 11:16 a.m., one of the victims sent a text message to a friend indicating who was at the gathering at the apartment. The text message mentioned the gunman's name and that he was dressed as Santa. Police said there was no indication of fear or concern in the text.
Eighteen minutes later, someone placed a call to 911 from a landline inside the apartment.  Investigators could make out a muffled cry for help in the background, Eberling said.
All of the victims were found in the same room with no sign of a struggle, according to Eberling, but he said some of the victims had defensive wounds that indicate they tried to shield themselves from the bullets.
Police will wait for the Tarrant County Medical Examiner to release the identities of the victims,  Eberling said.
The gunman had some prior dealings with at least two other police departments but not Grapevine Police, according to Eberling. He did not say what kind of dealings, or when or how many incidents there were.
Investigators are still piecing together information, but Eberling said they aren't sure of a motive and may never know what led to the worst crime in Grapevine history.
Friends paint picture of loving family in turmoil
Yazdanpanah married Fatemah "Nasrin" Rahmati in 1987, according to court records. They had a daughter, Nargis "Nona," 19, who graduated from Colleyville Heritage High School in May and a son, Ali, 15, a high school freshman. All four are believed to be among the dead.
Neighbors say the family seemed tight-knit, and Aziz Yazdanpanah seemed protective of his children.
"He was pretty outgoing," said neighbor Fred Ditmars. "If you saw him, he'd say 'hi' to you and everything."
"It seemed like their whole existence was about family, so it's utterly shocking to me," said another neighbor, Terri Baum, whose daughter attended school with his daughter.
A close friend of the Yazdanpanah family said Fatemah "Nasrin" Rahmati's sister Zohreh, her husband Hossein Zarei and their 22-year-old daughter Sahra were also killed.
Sahra (pictured left in blue) was a pre-med student at the University of Texas at Arlington, and according to family friends she was a part of the Tri Delta sorority at UTA.
"Bob loved his kids. And I can't even fathom that that's what happened," Baum said.
The mother, Fatemah "Nasrin" Rahmati, worked the past four years doing manicures at a salon on Southlake's town square. The manager said she often talked about her family, but never in a bad way.
Police cautioned the investigation is far from over.
NBC 5's Scott Gordon, Ray Villeda and Ben Russell contributed to this report


  1. The word "clip" isn't in a direct quotation, so it's likely the reporter's error.

  2. "Clip" is a synonym for "magazine." Look it up.

  3. Ignore the fact that it is looking to be an honor killing.....

  4. Mikeb302000,

    Are you familiar with the idea that specialists in a field use language in technical ways, while ordinary people are sloppy with the same words?

  5. Thomas said...

    Ignore the fact that it is looking to be an honor killing.....


    It is not. See the most recent update.

    GC wrote:
    Greg Camp said...


    Are you familiar with the idea that specialists in a field use language in technical ways, while ordinary people are sloppy with the same words?

    You have yet to show that there IS a specialized technical use that differs from the dictionary.

    You might want to use an authoritative source, like the OED to support your assertion.

    Otherwise it appears to be one thing and one thing only - a silly affectation among gun loonz.

    NOT an actual difference in technical terminology.

  6. Greg Camp wrote Are you familiar with the idea that specialists in a field use language in technical ways, while ordinary people are sloppy with the same words?

    A word is used technically to accurately convey information. It is not sloppy if it accurately conveys the necessary information at the technical level required. It is bad writing if the use of language misinforms or misleads, but it is also bad writing if language is used in a way which is far more technical than required to inform.

    Journalism, particularly print and internet journalism, aims at approximately the understanding and vocabulary of someone in the 8th grade.

    According to the OED definitions:
    2a container or detachable receptacle for holding a supply of cartridges to be fed automatically to the breech of a gun: he took the machine gun and a spare magazine
    2a metal holder containing cartridges for an automatic firearm: he shot twice, but his clip was empty

    Do you know what those two definitions have in common? They refer to feeding devices of ammunition to a firearm which is in some way automatic or semi-automatic.

    This is the way that clips and magazines are marketed - using the terms interchangeably. If you doubt that, I suggest you look at any number of web sites and catalogs, as well as written and broadcast journalism.

    If you wish to distinguish between a device that contains ammunition and feeds it into the breach part of an automatic / semi automatic firearm on the basis of whether or not it includes a spring- YES, I am familiar with using that as the distinguishing characteristic between a clip and magazine - then you have to demonstrate that it is technically a necessary piece of information where NOT including that distinction would mislead or misinform someone.

    FWM can't apparently distinguish between a magazine and a PEZ dispenser. I find that far more misleading and misinforming.

    Clip and magazine are perfectly and correctly interchangeable except in the rare instance that the presence of a spring as part of the mechanism is significant and important to the use of the terms for differentiation, comparison or contrast.

  7. My thanks to Laci for the OED definitions, and to his background in very precise language relating to weaponry from his days working with U.S./ UK military equipment contracts.

    No, that wasn't where I first learned the technical difference between clip and magazine, but it does underline the practical technical use of terminology.

    And of course, underlines as always the superiority of Laci's knowledge and verbal precision, expertise and experience, over silly gun loons who are sloppy with words while blindly and stupidly embracing the pseudo-technical babble of gun culture jargon.

  8. Yes, Greg, specialists use the preferred words. But what do you call someone who picks on the wrong usage every time, you know the guys who complain over and over again about "clip" and "loophole."

    I call them obfuscating, obstructionist diversionists as opposed to guys who want to discuss the issues in good faith.

  9. Mikeb302000,

    We're discussing here in good faith--at least, I am, and I suppose that you are. I just see an importance in using words correctly. I know that if you speak to a gun enthusiast about magazines and you call them clips, you will lose a measure of respect. If you're not worried about that, feel free to use words however you wish.

    Dog Gone,

    The O.E.D. exists not to define words, but to show how words are used. It's descriptive, not prescriptive. Apparently, you don't understand the difference. The O.E.D. shows how people have used words over time. It's purpose is primarily for linguists and other scholars. Unfortunately, popular dictionaries have taken the same approach, telling people that words mean whatever the sloppiest user claims that they mean. In addition, while the O.E.D. is an excellent resource, if I want to know how participants in a particular field use technical words, I'll ask them.

    There's nothing misleading about saying that a magazine holds cartridges for feeding into a chamber, while a clip holds cartridges for feeding into a magazine. There's nothing being hidden by that, nor is it an effort to change policy regarding guns. It's an effort to speak precisely about a technical subject. I'd have thought that you would support precision in language.