Almost a week after the bodies of  Azim and Mobeen Hakeem were found in their downtown Evanston tobacco shop, police are now calling the deaths murders.

Police previously had labeled the case a death investigation. But with the completion of the examination of the crime scene by the North Regional Major Crime Task Force forensic team and reports of findings from the medical examiner, police now say both brothers — 38-year-old Azim and 34-year-old Mobeen — suffered multiple gunshot wounds from what appears to be a small caliber weapon.

Early in the investigation police had said there were no obvious signs of a robbery at the Evanston Pipe & Tobacco shop at 923 Davis St. But investigators now say robbery has not been ruled out as a motive — because neither of the brothers’ wallets have been accounted for.

Police still say they’ve found nothing to indicate that there is any imminent threat to other businesses in the downtown area. The task force today is canvassing the 900 block of Davis to try to learn more about what people may have seen around the time of the crime.

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.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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