Man accused of shooting and killing wife and 3 daughters in Chicago suburb charged with first-degree murder

Maher Kassem, 63, has been charged with first-degree murder after fatally shooting his three daughters and wife inside their home in Tinley Park on Sunday. The victims have been identified as Majeda Kassem, 53; twins Halema Kassem, 25, and Hanan Kassem, 24; and Zahia Kassem, 25.

The tragedy unfolded after an argument over the family’s finances escalated on Sunday morning, leading to heightened tensions within the household. Prosecutors revealed that the argument prompted Kassem to use two guns to kill his wife and daughters.

Kassem’s 19-year-old son, who was in the home at the time of the shooting, was unharmed. The son was awakened by the commotion and walked in just moments before his father fatally shot his third daughter. Kassem did not turn the gun toward his son, sparing him from the violence.

The family tragedy shocked the community, with hundreds of mourners gathering for a prayer service at the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview to honor the women who lost their lives. Prayers were said for the victims, and the mourners shared their hopes for increased awareness and action against domestic violence.

The loss of the four women, especially Hanan Kassem, who had recently graduated with a master’s degree in speech therapy, left friends and classmates mourning and bewildered by the tragic circumstances.

Kassem’s family has expressed shock and disbelief at the crime, describing the accused as a devoted family man prior to the violent incident.

This heartbreaking event is a reminder of the devastating impact of domestic violence and the need for greater community support and intervention to prevent such tragedies.

Maher Kassem is due to appear in court on February 16. The event has sparked conversations about mental health, control, and abuse, highlighting the importance of addressing these issues in the community.

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