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Brothers Slain At Evanston Cigar Shop

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Mohammed Abdul Azim Hakeem (left) and Mohammed Abdul Mubeen Hakeem (right) with their father Mohammed Abdul Hakeem (in wheelchair). [Photo Supplied to CBS]

Mohammed Abdul Azim Hakeem (left) and Mohammed Abdul Mubeen Hakeem (right) with their father Mohammed Abdul Hakeem (in wheelchair). [Photo Supplied to CBS]

Updated 07/31/13 – 11:48 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – Two brothers were found shot to death inside an Evanston tobacco and cigar shop overnight.

CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports crime scene investigators spent the night at Evanston Pipe & Tobacco, after 38-year-old Mohammed Abdul Azim Hakeem and 34-year-old Mohammed Abdul Mubeen Hakeem were found in the basement.

Police were called to the scene Tuesday night, after their relatives grew concerned because they could not reach the brothers.

The family shop has been operating in downtown Evanston for more than 30 years. The brothers took over the business about five years ago, after their father — an immigrant from India who opened the store 35 years ago — became wheelchair bound.

Relatives said the records at the store showed the last sale on Tuesday was at 1:30 p.m.

According to their uncle, Qudrat Syed, the men’s mother realized something was wrong when she hadn’t heard from her sons by 6:30 p.m., so she drove to the store, and found the “Open” sign on, but the doors locked.

She went to a nearby police station to get help. When officers got into the store, they found the two men shot multiple times in the basement.

Syed said the family did not see any signs of forced entry, or a robbery.

“It doesn’t look like any forcible entry, because everything looks kind of normal there,” he said. “Me and my family are in a state of shock. How come somebody can do this kind of thing, this crime, to these two, young, beautiful kids? We are deeply saddened about it.”

He said the family got along with customers, and they can’t imagine who would kill the two brothers.

Northwestern University student Max Kelley said all of the stores on the street where the cigar shop is located are family-owned businesses.

“So, pretty devastating, yeah,” he said.

Customer Carl Demby said he’s a regular at the shop, and just saw the brothers on Monday, and everything seemed fine.

“I just go in and say hi to them all the time, buy cigarettes,” he said. “They was good people. When I’m short, they gave me cigarettes when I’m short.”

Syed said the victims’ sister is planning to get married in two weeks; now the family is grieving the men’s deaths.

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