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Evanston Police are now referring to the deaths of Azim Hakeem, 38, and Mobeen Hakeem, 34, as murders. On July 30, police found their bodies in the basement of Evanston Pipe & Tobacco, 923 Davis Street, and said they appeared to have died as a result of gunshot wounds. On July 31, police said they were classifying their investigation as a “death investigation.”

“The North Regional Major Crime Task Force (NORTAF) Forensic Team has completed their examination of the crime scene,” said Perry Polinski, media relations for the Evanston Police Department in a prepared statement on Aug. 6. “In concurrence with the Medical Examiner’s findings, Evanston Police and NORTAF Investigators continue to focus their investigation into the murders of Azim Hakeem and Mobeen Hakeem. Both brothers suffered multiple gunshot wounds from what appears to be from a small caliber weapon.

“NORTAF continues to analyze evidence, gather data, conduct interviews, and follow up on tips. Robbery has not been ruled out as a motive as both of the brothers’ wallets have not been accounted for. During the course of the preliminary investigation, nothing was found that would indicate the existence of an imminent threat to the downtown business community. The Task Force today is conducting a time canvass in the area of the 900 block of Davis Street,” said Mr. Polinski.

The pipe and tobacco shop was a family business, which had operated at the same location for more than 30 years. The brothers worked at the shop for many years.

Their mother became concerned when she could not reach her sons in the late afternoon of July 30, and after going to the pipe and tobacco shop found it padlocked. She called police, who conducted a premises check.

The Evanston Police Department asks that anyone with information regarding the homicide call the Detective Bureau at 847-866-5040 or utilize Text-A-Tip by texting the word CRIMES (274637) and EPD Tip with text information.