Updated: 2 brothers fatally shot inside downtown Evanston business

Source: Facebook
Azim Hakeem (left) and Mobeen Hakeem (right) pose with their father. The brothers were found shot to death Tuesday night in the basement of Evanston Pipe & Tobacco, 923 Davis St., according to family members.

Patrick Svitek, Summer Editor

Two brothers were found shot to death last night inside their downtown Evanston business, according to police and relatives.

The brothers were taken to the basement of Evanston Pipe & Tobacco, 923 Davis St., and shot multiple times, their uncle Qudrat Syed said. Evanston police identified the brothers as Azim Hakeem, 38, and Mobeen Hakeem, 34.

The brothers normally close the shop at about 7 p.m. and their mother became concerned when they were not home about a half an hour later, said Qudrat Syed and Zaki Syed, another uncle. The mother, who owns the shop, went to check on her sons and noticed an unfamiliar lock on the front door, the uncles said.

After seeing a few other unusual signs, the mother walked about a block south to Evanston police headquarters and asked them to check out the shop, according to the uncles. Police said they discovered the bodies at about 8:30 p.m.

There are no signs that the brothers were killed during a robbery, according to police.

In a statement posted this afternoon on the front door of a house in the 400 block of Custer Avenue, the Hakeem family asked for privacy. The statement is signed by Farheen Hakeem, “daughter, sister, and friend.”

“My brothers were gentle, humble men who did not deserve anything like this. Both were great brothers, sons, nephews, and cousins,” Farheen Hakeem said in the statement. “We would like the Evanston Police to be respectful of our culture and religion and be more transparent with their information. We thank you for all the love and support.”

Qudrat Syed said the brothers’ father, who has a disability, recently retired and his sons took over the day-to-day operations of the shop.

“They were loving brothers, taking care of their father, taking care of their business, and that’s it,” Qudrat Syed said. “Very beautiful kids.”

The North Regional Major Crime Task Force is assisting with the investigation into the brothers’ deaths. Forensic investigators were on the scene for most of the morning.

Autopsies are scheduled for Thursday.

Patrick Svitek