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Illinois Man Accused of Fatally Shooting Wife, 3 Adult Daughters in 'Senseless Act' of 'Power and Control'

Illinois Man Accused of Fatally Shooting Wife, 3 Adult Daughters
Source: Tinley Park Police Department; Unsplash

Maher Kassem was arrested and charged with the murders of his wife and 3 adult daughters, police said.

Jan. 25 2024, Published 10:02 a.m. ET

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An Illinois man has been arrested after his wife and three adult daughters were found shot to death inside their home, according to authorities.

Around 11:20 a.m. on Jan. 21, four women were wounded during a “domestic-related incident” in Tinley Park and all were pronounced dead at the scene, the Tinley Park Police Department said.

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The victims were identified as Majeda Kassem, 53, and her three adult daughters: Halema, 25, Zahia, 25 and Hanan, 24, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Officials said Maher Kassem, 63, fatally shot his family members during a verbal argument. Shortly after the shooting occurred, Maher reportedly contacted the police department and said someone had been shot.

Kassem was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Tinley Park police department.

"Words cannot describe how deeply saddened I am at this horrible tragedy," Tinley Park Mayor Michael W. Glotz said at a news conference covered by WMAQ-TV. "A mother and her three daughters are gone. Murdered in a senseless act of domestic violence."

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Tinley Park Police Chief Tom Tilton said the investigation was “very complex” and declined to reveal anything that would “negatively impact the investigation, or impact the charging decision.”

Officials said a weapon had been recovered at the scene, but they would not elaborate on what kind. Police said there is no history of calls to the home.

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During the press conference, Itedal Shalabi, co-founder and executive director of Arab-American Family Services, said, “This is about power and control. This is about gender-based violence. This is about the power of one person over other family members,” WMAQ-TV reported.

Maher was charged with four counts of first-degree murder, officials said.

Charlotte Vaitkus, who lives nearby the victims, told WMAQ-TV, "We’re still in shock hours later. I can’t believe that this happened a block away from me to people that we knew.”

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