More than two months after brothers Azim and Mobeen Hakeem were found shot to death in the basement of their downtown tobacco store, police have yet to make an arrest.
But the case is still “very active,” according to Evanston Police Cmdr. Jason Parrott. The Evanston Police Department has two detectives and one sergeant working full-time on the case, and is investigating various theories about what took place, he said in an e-mail.
Parrott said he could not elaborate on particulars of the case, however.
Police found Mobeen, 34, and Azim, 38, dead from multiple gunshot wounds in the basement of Evanston Pipe & Tobacco, 923 Davis St., around 8:20 p.m. July 30. Initially, police said they were classifying the investigation as a “death investigation,” and that there were no signs that a robbery had taken place.
One week later, however, police said they were re-classifying the deaths as homicides, and had not ruled out robbery as a possible motive for the shootings.
The day the Hakeem brothers were shot, their mother, Mahjabeen, was expecting them home for dinner. It was Ramadan, and she was cooking samosas for the family to break the fast they had been observing for Ramadan, she told Patch in August. When her sons did not come home by 7:30 p.m. that day, Mahjabeen grew worried, and got in the car to go to the store.
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When she arrived, the store was dark, but the “OPEN” sign was still lit, even though her sons always closed up shop at 7 p.m., she told Patch. She also noticed that the padlock was on the door, and there was a light shining through the curtains in the basement window. At that point, she drove to the police station to tell them that something must be wrong.
Azim and Mobeen, who grew up in Evanston along with their sister, Farheen, took over running the store about 10 years ago, when their father became to sick to operate the business. Before he died, Azim was just a few credits away from finishing a bachelor’s degree in art at Northeastern Illinois University, according to Farheen.
“You have to be one sick individual to shoot my two brothers, but you have to be really, really despicable to shoot Mobeen,” she told Patch in August. “Because he had autism. He was harmless.”
Farheen said she worries that the shootings were a hate crime, and her family fears for their safety.
“It’s already hard enough to grieve for the loss of my brothers, but it’s even worse to know that those killers are out there,” she said.