EPD talks homicide investigations at community meeting


Colin Boyle/Daily Senior Staffer

Evanston police Cmdr. Ryan Glew speaks at Citizen’s Network of Protection meeting Tuesday. Glew said there have been about 100 murders in Evanston since 1980, 30 of which remain unsolved.

Nikki Baim, Reporter

There have been about 100 murders in Evanston since 1980, 30 of which remain unsolved, Evanston police Cmdr. Ryan Glew said at a Citizens’ Network of Protection meeting Tuesday.

Glew answered residents’ questions about homicide investigations at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, 1655 Foster St. He spoke about the process of closing homicide cases and what the Evanston Police Department does when a suspect dies.

Next month, EPD will review a 2013 double homicide case in which the suspect was killed by police, Glew said.

Multiple officers shot and killed an armed robbery suspect in downtown Evanston five years ago. Kevin Ross, 29, allegedly stole over $2,600 from Chase Bank, 901 Grove St., in September that year. Three months later, Ross attempted another robbery at the same branch. Police used a description provided by the bank teller to locate Ross, who was armed, in the 1500 block of Maple Avenue, Glew said.

Officers ordered Ross to drop his weapon, and, when he did not comply, shot him. He died a short time later at Evanston Hospital.

Police later learned Ross owned multiple guns including an AK-74 rifle that he carried around downtown Evanston in a guitar case. Between the two robberies, Ross frequented the Barnes and Noble located at 1630 Sherman Ave. to talk to the store’s security guard. He introduced himself to the guard as “Vlad” from Ukraine and faked an accent. Police eventually used the alias to identify Ross.

After his death, the FBI searched storage lockers in Ross’ home in south Evanston. They found a cigar box and the wallets of Mobeen Hakeem and Azim Hakeem — two brothers who were murdered five months earlier in the basement of their store, Evanston Pipe and Tobacco.

Police plan to revisit the case because Farheen Hakeem, the late brothers’ sister, filed a Freedom of Information Act request, Glew said. The city denied Farheen the documents initially because the case is still open, but police may close it upon review next month. If the case is disseminated, she will receive thousands of pages of evidence, notes and reports.

But police are still missing one piece of evidence, Glew said — the gun Ross used to shoot the Hakeem brothers.

“It’s better to have (the weapon) than not, but, once it goes through a couple hands, it’s so far disconnected from a crime,” Glew said.

The Tuesday meeting was the second time Glew presented at a Citizens’ Network of Protection event. Evanston resident Betty Ester, who coordinates the group’s meetings, said the conversation with police provides an educational component to CNP’s work.

“You can know what is being done in your community,” she said. “Not knowing is a bad thing.”

CNP wants an elected civilian board to oversee, investigate and review complaints against EPD. Evanston resident Madelyn Ducre — who attended the meeting — said conversations with Glew are the first step toward the relationship residents and police should have.

“The police have to be out more and talk and just sit down and discuss,” she said. “Citizens have to open up and be able to trust a little bit more.”

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