FBI, Police Investigate Possible Drive-By Hate Crime In SW OKC

Monday, February 4th 2013, 9:07 pm
By: News 9

FBI agents and Oklahoma City police officers are investigating a possible hate crime that left a Southwest Side home riddled with bullets.

The victims of the attack say they are just thankful to be alive. Witnesses say it was a classic drive-by shooting with at least one suspect taking aim and unloading on the side of a home at S.W. 30th and Olie.

"I was terrified," victim Maryam Taghavi said.

If Maryam's daughter was standing just inches to her right, she would likely be dead right now. She says she ducked as she heard the bullets rip through her bedroom wall. At least 14 rounds pierced the home's walls and windows. No one was hurt.

"I don't feel comfortable here," Maryam said.

The Taghavi family has lived in their current home for more than two decades. They say they had never experienced the type of violence they recently encountered. Maryam believes they may have been targeted for their Muslim faith and Iranian heritage.

"If that's the reason, I just don't get it," Maryam said. "I was born here in Oklahoma. I grew up here. This is my state. I love Oklahoma."

Days before the attack, Maryam says her son was approached outside the home and asked which religion he followed. The FBI and a city police gang task force are investigating to see if there is a connection between that confrontation and the attack. In the meantime, the Taghavi home has been placed on the market.

"Now, every time I hear a car go by, I'm just wondering," Maryam said. " I can't let me kids live like that."

Police say they have received some information on a vehicle description from a neighbor, but police officials were not releasing that information as of late Monday.