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Evanston brothers murdered inside cigar shop

Two brothers were found shot to death inside their family business in downtown Evanston.

38 year-old Azim Hakeem and  34 year-old Mobeen Hakeem were found in the basement of “Evanston Pipe & Tobacco” shop, located at 923 Davis Street

Police are saying the two brothers killed were murdered.

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Still not convinced they’ve gotten the answers they need, the sister and mother of Azim and Mobeen Hakeem are questioning the latest developments in the brothers’ murders.

Evanston police say 29-year-old Kevin Ross, a suspect in several bank robberies who was shot and killed by police December 16th, has now been tied to the Hakeem murders.

They believe Ross played a role in the shooting deaths of the brothers on July 30th, in the basement of their Evanston cigar shop.

The victims’ sister, Farheen Hakeem, said “I believe this is a lead of convenience. This is an opportunity for them to say ‘alright family, you can now be quiet because we have a suspect and that suspect is dead and there’s nothing we can do.”

In a statement, Evanston police admit Kevin Ross was never on their radar until he became a suspect in the bank robberies and a search of his apartment “unveiled the victim’s identification and other items linking Ross to the crime scene.”

“There are no indicators that ross acted with another person or persons at this time,” they say,” but is not being ruled out.”

Farheen Hakeem said she is “Really concerned that the Evanston police is going to the media and saying ‘we found a lead and now you can get off our backs.”

The Hakeem family, hope that their case will get a fresh look with new eyes, potentially from the FBI, who’s now on the bank robberies or by the Illinois State Police, who may look into the officer involved shooting that killed Kevin Ross this last week.  They say their confidence in Evanston’s investigation is on shaky ground.

“I honestly thought that they were in over their head. Like they needed help. They needed someone to come in and look at this case and they haven’t had a lead at all until this. And even with this lead the only suspect there is now dead,” Farheen said.

Evanston police say the FBI is welcome to look at any evidence in the case and that the investigation maintains integrity and continues to be handled in a thorough manner.

Assurances that are questioned by a family still looking for answers.

“This is not justice.  This is not justice,” the victims’ mother, Mahjabeen Hakeem, said “This is not the way they should handle the case.”

At a south Evanston condo building where suspected bank robber, Kevin Ross, lived with his wife, police may have solved a crime they didn’t know they were investigating.

Police say they found evidence linking Ross to last summer’s murders of  38-year old Azim Hakeem and his brother 34-year old Mobeen Hakeem.
They were killed in their Evanston tobacco store.

“We uncovered identification belonging to both victims, shell casings that were unique and consistent with those found at the crime scene,” Evanston Police Commander Jay Parrott said.

Police say they also found a receipt from the store and an assault rifle.

Police shot and killed Ross Monday after they say he refused to drop his weapon following a robbery at a Chase bank.

evanstonbrotherskilledEarlier this summer, two brothers were killed inside their family-owned business in Evanston.

Family members want to know why their murders remain unsolved.

On July 30, Azim and Mobeen Hakeem were found shot to death in the basement of Evanston Pipe and Tobacco.

They were shot multiple times, and their wallets were taken.

But more than two months later, the case remains unsolved.

According to the Tribune, family members want answers.

Evanston police say, “the have two detectives and a sergeant dedicated to the case.. And they”re going through a lot of evidence at this time.”

For the first time, police are saying the two brothers killed in Evanston last week were murdered.

Azim Hakeem, 38, and Mobeen Hakeem, 34, were both shot to death in the basement of their family’s tobacco shop a week ago.

Police, whose description of the killings was included in a Tuesday news release from the city, said they have no suspects and that they haven’t ruled out robbery as a motive. There were no initial signs that anything was taken from the store, authorities said, but the brothers’ wallets have yet to turn up.

An official with the Cook County medical examiner’s office, which has not ruled on the manner or cause of the brothers’ deaths, said Tuesday that such determinations “are pending further police investigation.”

Their sister says not many people knew, the building had a basement.

Police have no suspects, but they did take a computer from the family’s home.

Chicago Tribune contributed to this report

Two brothers were found shot to death inside their family business in downtown Evanston last night.

A relative says 38-year-old Azim Hakeem and his 34-year-old brother Mobeen were found shot multiple times inside The Evanston Pipe & Tobacco Shop.

Their uncle says their mother became suspicious when they weren’t answering the phone after the store was suppose to  be closed.

Sensing there was something terribly wrong – and noticing a padlock on the inside of the door, he says their mother immediately notified police.

Police and firefighters broke into the store a short while later, and found the brothers’ bodies in the basement.  The last transaction on the register was approximately 1:30 yesterday afternoon.

Those who frequent the shop describe the brothers as kind and helpful.

“They were always very nice, polite and  knowledgeable,” said Craig Soutter.

Relatives say the two brothers were the primary caretakers for their elderly father.

At the family’s home in Evanston, a note is posted on the front door reading in part: “My brothers were gentle, humble men who did not deserve anything like this. Both were great brothers, sons, nephews and cousins. We would like the Evanston police to be respectful of our culture and religion and be more transparent with their information.”

The family had been celebrating Ramadan, but their uncle says the celebration is over as the family now prepares for funeral arrangements.

Two brothers were found shot to death inside their family business in downtown Evanston.

38 year-old Azim Hakeem and  34 year-old Mobeen Hakeem were found in the basement of “Evanston Pipe & Tobacco” shop, located at 923 Davis Street, at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

No word yet on when they were killed, but the last transaction at the shop was at 1:30pm. Police don’t believe a robbery took place.

“Azim and Mobeen we miss you. We love you. And, we’ve been remembering you forever. You are the best, both, nephews to me,” said their uncle, Qudrat Syed.

Their family says the brothers didn’t own a gun.

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