Dead bank robber tied to Evanston double murder - FOX 32 News Chicago

Dead bank robber tied to Evanston double murder

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EVANSTON, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Evanston police have recovered "significant pieces of evidence," linking the man shot and killed by officers in Monday's downtown bank robbery with the double murder of two brothers in an Evanston tobacco store earlier this year.

SEE: Brothers shot in Evanston business were murdered

Kevin Ross, 29, of Evanston, was shot multiple times Monday by officers who confronted him following the afternoon bank robbery at Chase Bank, 901 Grove Ave, just south of Evanston's west downtown district.

According to Evanston Police Cmdr. Jay Parrott, investigators conducted a search of a basement storage locker in Ross's south Evanston condominium, recovering documents belonging to Azim and Mobeen Hakeem, owners of Evanston Pipe & Tobacco.

The brothers were found shot to death July 30 in the basement of the store.

Investigators found a receipt showing that Ross had made a purchase at the shop in May, Parrott said. In addition, police found an assault weapon, and some ammunition in the locker, Parrott said.

Police were able to locate a spent shell casing consistent with one found at the scene of the double murder, Parrott said. The shell casing is not a common one, he said, and has been sent to a crime lab for analysis, he said.

Detectives also determined through a receipt that Ross had purchased a .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol from an area gun shop in June of this year. The pistol also is consistent with the type of gun used to commit the double murder, Parrott said.

Investigators have not recovered a weapon from the murders and are working channels to determine if it was resold, Parrott said.

Police, who are working with the FBI on the case, recovered Ross's laptop computer, which they hope will yield more clues.

On Wednesday, FBI investigators said they believed Ross might have been involved in as many as four other robberies, including one Sept. 6 at the same Chase Bank. Investigators have also linked Ross to robberies at TCF Bank, 5343 N. Broadway, at 5:01 p.m. on Oct. 2 and again at 4:49 p.m. on Dec. 5; and then at another TCF branch, at 4355 N. Sheridan Road on at 4 p.m. Dec. 12. The proceeds in the bank robberies were small – roughly $3,000 in Monday's incident, and as low as $600 in one, Parrott said.

Until the bank robberies, Ross "was completely off the radar," and not considered a suspect in the tobacco shop murders, Parrott said. The only police contact with him was a call to the Ross home on a domestic dispute, he said.

Investigators learned that he lived in Florida before moving to the area, and they are working with the FBI to determine whether he was involved in any criminal activity there, Parrott said.

Parrott confirmed a report that Ross visited a methadone clinic in the vicinity of the tobacco shop. He said police are seeking a court order to get more information.

Police haven't closed their murder investigation of the tobacco shop shootings and are seeking to determine whether Ross had any accomplices, Parrott said. However, they consider the evidence strong enough to consider Ross a primary suspect, Parrott said.

Earlier this year, Hakeem family members expressed frustration about the slowness of the investigation into the brothers' murders, and voiced concern that the brutal murders were the result of a hate crime against the devout Muslim family.

Mahjabeen, the brothers mother, maintained Friday that the murder was perpetrated by a lone suspect.

Someone turned out the lights at the tobacco shop when the murders were committed, she said. Also, some of the proceeds from the day were still in the register, following the murders, she said.

"If it was a robbery, he would have taken the money," she said.

Since the murders, her husband, beset by disabilities, is afraid for her to leave the house. He lived for their two sons, who lived at home and ministered to his needs, she said, in tears after police told her the news.

"Why did they kill him?" she asked. "They should have kept him alive."

READ MORE: FBI links dead Evanston suspect to five bank robberies

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