In a note, 2 Texas brothers who killed their family of 6 said US gun laws were a 'joke' after they easily acquired firearms despite a history of mental illness

In a note, 2 Texas brothers who killed their family of 6 said US gun laws were a 'joke' after they easily acquired firearms despite a history of mental illness
A police offer makes a call on his radio.ftwitty/Getty Images
  • Six members of one Texas family are dead after what appears to be a murder-suicide, police said.
  • Farhan and Tanvir Towhid reportedly killed themselves and their family to "spare them" the hurt.
  • Farhan said gun laws were a "joke" and the pair was able to obtain firearms despite mental illness.

Police in Texas identified the bodies of six family members who died in what appears to be a murder-suicide, several outlets reported.

Farhan Towhid, 19, and his brother Tanvir Towhid, 21, created a suicide pact and killed four of their family members, in Allen, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, police told The Washington Post.

Police discovered the bodies on Monday after a family friend saw a lengthy social media post from Farhan that said he had killed his family and himself, the Post reported. It's unclear when the murder-suicide took place, but police believe it most likely occurred on Saturday night.
"It looks like the two … sons entered into an agreement that they were going to [die by] suicide and that they were going to take their family members with them," Allen Police Department Sgt. Jon Felty told KRLD.

The bodies of Farhan and Tanvir were found alongside those of their father, Towhidul Islam, 54; mother, Iren Islam, 56; grandmother Altafun Nessa, 77; and Farhan's twin sister, Farbin Towhid.

In his social media post, Farhan said he'd been dealing with depression since high school and had been harming himself. He said his brother was also "depressed and socially anxious."

Farhan said the two devised a plan to kill themselves and decided to also kill their family, "Instead of having to deal with the aftermath of my suicide, I could just do them a favor and take them with me," the note read, according to the Post.

Farhan added that it was easy for them to obtain guns for their plot despite their mental health issues because of how lax gun laws in the US are. "Gun control in the US is a joke," Farhan wrote according to the Post.

James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University told the Associated Press that it's rare for there to be two siblings that are responsible for a mass shooting, adding that it's usually a single perpetrator.

Fox told the outlet that from 2006 until Sunday, there were 452 incidents where four or more people were killed and in 217 of those incidents, a family member was killed.

He added that in situations where there are two perpetrators, one is usually the leader and the other follows.

"The leader feels good about the fact that someone sees them, looks up to them, and is willing to do what they're told," Fox said. "And then the follower generally revels in the fact that the more dominant person praises them for their loyalty and strength. So it may be mutual - it may be a pact, but it's typically one person who lays the ground rules and the other person who agrees with them."

The Dallas Morning News reported that Nessa, who was visiting from Bangladesh, was supposed to have gone back last week but had her flight postponed because of the pandemic.

Fazia Rahman, who graduated with Farhan and Farbin, told the Dallas Morning News she didn't want this to be the family's legacy.
"They were such great people, they genuinely touched the lives of everyone who they came in contact with ... They were good people who had bright futures ahead of them," Rahman said.

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