Community gathers in Westwood to mourn 176 people killed on board passenger jet shot down by Iran

WESTWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Iranian and Persian community gathered in Westwood Friday to mourn the 176 people killed on board a passenger jet shot down by Iran just minutes after take-off from Tehran.

Mehrdad Siahcheshman spoke about his family member Alma Oladi who died in the crash. She had turned 27 on Dec. 28.

Alma had gone back to Iran to celebrate her birthday with family. She was returning to Canada where she was on a full scholarship for a Ph.D. in mathematics when the plane was hit and went down.

"We are all devastated...the relatives of these beautiful souls. The people who are here to support us...we are thankful for their support," said Siahcheshman.

Dozens showed up to light candles, shed tears, and support people they may have never met but felt like they knew.

"We just send our love from Los Angeles to all of their families because we are same blood...all of us," said Sandra Artoon of Los Angeles.

"I think they are shocked, not only mad, they are shocked. Because beside their sadness they want to know how this could happen," said Daniel Tousi of Westwood.
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