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Oklahoma City Muslim family members think they were targeted because of their faith

The family's home was shot at more than a dozen times in a drive-by shooting Thursday evening.
BY VALLERY BROWN vbrown@opubco.com Published: February 2, 2013

Members of a Muslim family whose house was shot at during a drive-by Thursday evening think they were targeted because of their faith.

Tuesday, a stranger driving by Allie and Maryam Taghavi's home in southwest Oklahoma City stopped and asked their 21-year-old son the family's religion.

A large sign hung on the porch and visible from the road said, “as-salamu alaykum,” an Arabic phrase often used by Muslims meaning “peace be with you.”

Without any suspicion, their son told the stranger they were Muslim, Allie Taghavi said. The stranger then drove away.

Then, two days later on Thursday evening, Allie Taghavi was home with three of his adult children when shots were fired around 7:45 p.m. from a car driving south on S Olie Avenue near their home at SW 30.

“I screamed when I heard the shots, but it was so rapid ... like firecrackers,” he said.

Allie Taghavi ran from his bedroom into his 23-year-old daughter's room where a bullet had come through the east side of their house, piercing a wall a few feet away from where she was sitting at her computer desk.

Seconds later, shots were fired into the bedroom just to the south where Allie Taghavi had been. One bullet crossed the width of his bedroom and passed into a bathroom where it lodged in the wall.

No one was injured in the incident. The family fled its home after police cleared the scene a few hours later.

Family members said they don't plan to return.

Police Master Sgt. Gary Knight said Oklahoma City's gang unit is investigating the incident because it was reported as a drive-by shooting. Police responded to a call about multiple rounds being fired into the home from a car driving south on S Olie Avenue.

Two bullet holes were found in the home. No one had been arrested as of Friday evening.

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