Evanston police announced today they believe the man police shot and killed this week after a downtown bank robbery also is responsible for murdering two Evanston brothers in the basement of their tobacco shop this July.
Authorities said Kevin Ross, 29, of Evanston, was shot and killed Tuesday outside Bennison’s Bakery near Maple Avenue and Davis Street, in a confrontation after the robbery of a nearby bank.
Evanston police said Ross robbed a Chase bank branch at 901 Grove Street near the city’s police headquarters. Police said in a release to the media that a teller gave police a description of the robber and Ross was seen a short time later walking on Grove Street.
Police said officers shot Ross after he refused orders to drop his gun.
Investigators said today they’ve also connected Ross to the murder of Mobeen and Azim Hakeem, two Evanston brothers shot multiple times inside their family business, Evanston Pipe & Tobacco, 923 Davis Street.
Cmdr. Jay Parrott said in a news release that a storage locker in Ross’ home contained Mobeen Hakeem’s identification and Azim Hakeem’s Social Security card.
Investigators also found an unusual brand of .22-caliber shell casing in Ross’ home that was consistent with the casings found at the homicide scene, Parrott said. Police also found a receipt from May 2013 showing Ross bought a cigar from the tobacco shop, suggesting he’d been in the shop before the killings, Parrott said.
Parrott said investigators also retrieved an assault rifle and eventually determined that Ross bought a .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol – the same type of weapon believed to have been used in the killings – at a Chicago-area gun store in June 2013. Police are trying to find that gun, which could have been resold, Parrott said.
According to federal authorities, Ross also is suspected in connection with four other bank robberies, including the Sept. 6 robbery of the same Chase Bank branch in Evanston that was robbed this week. Authorities also suspect him in connection of the robberies of a TCF Bank branch at 5343 N. Broadway St. in Chicago on Oct. 2 and Dec. 5 of this year, and a TCF Bank branch at 4355 N. Sheridan Road in Chicago on Dec. 12.
Ross had no prior arrests known to local police and had a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card, Parrott said. Ross lived for a short time in Florida, Parrott said, and the FBI is helping with the effort to determine if he might have committed any crimes outside Illinois.
Investigators have his computer and are analyzing it for leads and a possible motive for the murders, Parrott said.
Police found the brothers, 34 and 38 years old, shot to death in late July in the basement of the tobacco shop, located just steps from where Ross was gunned down by police.
Initially, police did not classify the brothers’ deaths as murders, saying early evidence did not point to a robbery and did not lead them to a particular suspect still being at large.
About a week later, though, police began saying the two were killed. While it appeared nothing was taken from the store, according to authorities, the brothers’ wallets could not be found.
The double murder shocked family and friends, who described the brothers as kind men.
Family members said Mobeen Hakeem, the younger of the brothers, was autistic.
“He kept to himself. He never bothered or talked to anybody,” the men’s sister, Farheen Hakeem, said in October. “He did his own thing.”Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun