Dead bank robbery suspect tied to Evanston tobacco shop double murder

December 20, 2013 (EVANSTON, Ill.)

Police say a search conducted in a basement storage locker in Ross's Evanston condominium turned up documents belonging to Azim Hakeem, 38, and his brother, Mobeen Hakeem, 34,. The brothers were were shot to death July 30 at their store, Evanston Pipe and Tobacco. Their bodies were found in the basement.

It was a crime that caused unease in the Evanston community and stymied police who assigned two officers full time to try to solve it. The murders of brothers Mobeen and Aziz Hakeem inside the tobacco shop they ran has gone unsolved since July.

But police got a break in the case after following up on bank robbery suspect 29-year-old Kevin Ross, who was shot by officers after a confrontation Monday. They searched a storage locker in his apartment.

"Police searched that storage locker and located several pieces that linked him to the scene of the double murder, and also specifically, linked him to the murder itself," said Cmdr. Jay Parrott, Evanston Police Dept.

Among the items they found in the storage locker were the victim's I.D.s, a matching .22-caliber shell casing consistent with the weapon used to shoot the brothers multiple times, and a receipt from cigar shop from several months earlier, indicating he had been in the store previously.

Hakeem's family however believes police take pinning the crime on the wrong suspect. They have been anxiously hoping for an arrest in the case, but they doubt Ross was the killer.

"We're just really frustrated because there's this consistent pattern of misinformation, lack of transparency and it just raises more and more doubts," said Farheen Hakeem, victim's sister.

Ross had no criminal record in Illinois, but the FBI says Ross was responsible for at least four other bank robberies in the Chicago area. Officers shot him when he refused an order to put down his weapon after the robbery Monday. While they say the evidence points to Ross in the murder case, police say they're not ready to close the case just yet.

"We recovered his fingerprints and DNA, that's going to be looked at," said Parrott.

In response to the family's accusations, Evanston police say that there may have been some miscommunication with the family but they insist that this has been and will continue to be a thorough investigation, full of integrity.

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