Vigil held for slain Evanston brothers, family says they are ‘disappointed’ with police

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EVANSTON, Ill. — Six years after the murder of two brothers, their family held a vigil in Evanston and spoke out about the way the case was handled.

Aziz Hakeem, 38, and Mobeen Hakeen, 34, were fatally shot on July 31, 2013 in the basement of their family's tobacco shop.

Evanston police concluded the investigation on May 21, 2019 since there are no leads and there is probable cause to believe Kevin Ross, 29, was responsible for the murder of the Hakeem brothers.

Ross was a suspect in several bank robberies. He was shot and killed by police Dec. 16, 2013. Police believe Ross played a role in the shooting deaths of the brothers.

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.”

The Hakeem family stated there are still many unanswered questions. In a statement, they said they were disappointed with Evanston police.

The sister of the two slain brothers, Farheen Hakeem, said their neighbor made a statement that gives them suspicion to believe the landlord of their property was involved in the murders.

"We talked to the record store owner next door, who told me and my husband that prior to the murder, the landlord, Jim Nash Jr., asked if he would rent the place if he 'got rid' of the cigar store," Farheen Hakeem said. "We asked him to go to the police with this information and he refused."

Evanston police claimed Nash Jr. was out of the country at the time of the murders.

"Why didn't Evanston police check Jim Nash Jr.'s passport, airline tickets or financials at the time of the murder?" Farheen Hakeem said. "Was he not investigated because he is a powerful rich white man?"

The Hakeem family have complained that the way Evanston police have been treating them is Islamophobic.

"I have to contact the police every six months just to get an update and most of the time I am told nothing," Farheen Hakeem said. "To be treated like this is Islamaphobic."

Commander Ryan Glew said Evanston police does not discriminate.

"We investigate all cases no matter of race," Glew said.

For now, Evanston police said the case remains open.

The vigil was held on the sidewalk of 923 Davis Street in Evanston.

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