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Christmas massacre claims business owners

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LANCASTER – The Lancaster business community is mourning the loss of  area business owners after they were shot and killed by a man dressed as Santa Claus during a shooting at a Grapevine apartment complex on Christmas morning. 

The gunman, Aziz Yazdanpanah, 56, showed up to his estranged wife’s apartment on Christmas morning dressed as Santa before opening fire with two loaded guns killing his family, before committing suicide.

Yazanpanah, a Colleyville real estate agent, not only killed his wife and two teenage children but, killed Lancaster Chamber members Zohreh Rahmaty, 58, Yazanpanah’s sister-in-law, Hossein Zarei, 59, and their daughter Sahra Zarei, 22. 

“We are saddened to learn of the tragic deaths on Christmas Day of Hossein (Cyrus) Zarei, 59, his wife Zohreh Rahmaty, 58, and daughter Sahra Zarei, 22,” stated the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce via email to its members. 

The Zarei family owned the Cedar Canyon Dude Ranch and Catering Facility in Lancaster on University Hills Boulevard at Interstate Highway-20.  

Zarei and his wife had spent months remodeling the Cedar Canyon Dude Ranch and had hosted the Thursday, Aug. 11, Lancaster Chamber of Commerce Luncheon to show off their new facility. 

“The Zarei family will be greatly missed in the Lancaster business community,” stated the Chamber. Others killed on Sunday, Dec. 25 were Yazanpnah’s wife, Nasrin Rahmaty, 55, daughter Nona Yazdanpanah, 19 and son, Ali Yazdanpanah, 15.


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