Updated: Evanston police not ruling out robbery as motive in brothers’ shooting deaths

Patrick Svitek, Summer Editor

Police said Tuesday afternoon they have not ruled out robbery as a motive in the shooting deaths of two Evanston brothers.

Authorities had previously said there were no signs of robbery after Azim Hakeem, 38, and Mobeen Hakeem, 34, were found shot to death the night of July 30 in the basement of their business, Evanston Pipe & Tobacco, 923 Davis St. Their bodies were discovered after their mother became concerned they were not home on time.

Although the Cook County medical examiner’s office says the cause and manner of the brothers’ deaths remain “pending further investigation,” Evanston police spokesman Perry Polinski said this afternoon there will be no additional testing on their bodies. Police are now considering the brothers’ deaths homicides due to autopsy results and an examination of the crime scene, Polinski said.

The brothers were shot multiple times with a small-caliber weapon, police said. Their wallets have not been accounted for, leading authorities to believe they may have been robbed.

A preliminary investigation found no immediate danger to downtown Evanston businesses, according to police.

Although it is done inspecting the crime scene, the North Regional Major Crimes Task Force will continue investigating, police said. The task force is canvassed Tuesday in the same block as the tobacco shop.

The medical examiner’s office said Tuesday afternoon there may not be any new information about the brothers’ autopsies for four to six weeks.

A funeral service for the brothers was held Friday in Chicago.

— Patrick Svitek