ALLEN, Texas - A large crowd gathered in Allen to remember a family killed in an apparent mass murder-suicide.
Allen's mayor, members of the city council and the school board joined friends and loved ones for a candlelight vigil Wednesday at Celebration Park in Allen.
Last weekend, investigators say Farhan Towhid and Tanvir Towhid killed their parents, sister and grandmother before killing themselves. A suicide note was posted on Farhan’s Instagram account detailed years of depression.
Mental health was at the forefront of the conversation. More than 100 people were in attendance for the vigil, including friends, neighbors, teachers and even some who didn’t know the family but wanted to offer support.
A few mental health professionals attended as well, specifically, to speak toward a number of young people present.
Young friends of the family were tearful. Many knew that the two brothers who killed their family and themselves suffered from depression, but none ever thought it would lead to something like this.
Josh Kattampally says he was Farhan’s best friend. He believes Farhan’s parents did everything they could to love and care for him.
"Farhan fought a different fight than the rest of us. Where we’re at a baseline of happy, Farhan was at a baseline of pain. And by no means can I ever excuse his actions, but I just want everyone to know that his parents did absolutely nothing wrong. They didn’t pressure him. They didn’t force him," he said. "His depression was not any type of product of his environment. He was just not genetically as lucky as the rest of us. Out of high school, we became best friends up until this past weekend."
There were polarizing conversations at the vigil. Just about everyone said the two brothers were great people. In no way can they justify what they did, but they’re trying hard to understand a mental struggle that for some is unimaginable.
A funeral service for the family has been delayed until Thursday. It will be held at the Islamic Association of Allen in the afternoon.
If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to civilians and veterans. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (tel:18002738255). Or text HOME to 741-741.
Click here for the warning signs and risk factors of suicide. Call 1-800-273-TALK for free and confidential emotional support.