Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett identified the shooter as 31-year-old Kahosay Sharifi, NBC News reported. The victims were identified as her 66-year-old father, Mohamad Sharifi, 34-year-old brother-in-law, Sanjar Halin, and 56-year-old father-in-law, Abdul Halin. Although authorities haven’t released a motive, the shootings seemed linked to a Facebook post she made around the same time as the shooting on Tuesday, with which she publicly accused her brother-in-law of abusing her sister, and their respective parents allowing the abuse to happen.
Kahosay, an Afghani immigrant from Kabul, according to her Facebook, moved to the United States in 2001. She posted almost exclusively about her travels, until a long Aug. 23 post where she called out her family for allowing the abuse of her sister from her husband.
“Several months ago, I found out that my sister has been abused by her husband for 14 years (since they first met). He has chocked (sic) her, slapped, kicked, swore at her & the most recent a year and a half ago has punched her in her face. My parents & his parents knew all these years but have not really done much but say ‘work it out’ ‘what will people say if you separate’ or even victim blaming,” she wrote. “Also, don’t force me to be with the wrong person just for the sake of marriage. This whole mindset of ‘just work it out’ needs to change because it is not healthy. I will not deal with this nonsense.”
The shooting spree covered three crime scenes, according to Blodgett. The bodies of her brother-in-law and father were discovered in a residence listed in public records as belonging to the father, according to NBC News. Eyewitnesses told WCVB that they heard around 20 gunshots near the residence. The body of her father-in-law was found in a car parked under a mile away from the first crime scene; he was shot and killed after the first two, according to investigators.
Kahosay was found dead with what authorities believe was a self-inflicted gunshot wound in her car parked in a grocery store parking lot, about a mile away from her father’s house.
Blodgett told WCVB that police responded to reports of shots fired near Kahosay’s father’s residence shortly before 2:55 p.m. Kahosay’s Facebook post was published at 3:06 p.m., meaning she posted it either after she allegedly killed her three relatives, or between killing the first two and third. Her body was found at 4:25 p.m.
In a GoFundMe page organized by relative Lema Sharifi, the family blamed mental health issues for the shooting.
“Time and time again, mental health is demonstrated to be such a prominent issue in society. Abuse of all types takes a significant toll on individuals affected, and leads to damage and loss in many ways,” the description said. “Our family was a victim of this scenario, and now two young children are fatherless. We are absolutely traumatized, heartbroken, and lost.”