(February 28, 2016) — An investigation is underway after three young men were found shot to death “execution-style” in an abandoned home in Indiana, authorities said.
Their bodies were discovered Wednesday in a home in Fort Wayne, Rusty York, the city’s public safety director, told CNN affiliate WANE TV.
All three deaths were classified as homicides, the Allen County Coroner’s Office said. It did not specify whether they were shot once or multiple times.
“These young people were just starting out in their life,” Fort Wayne Police Chief Garry Hamilton told WANE TV.
The coroner’s office identified the victims as Muhannad Adam Tairab, 17; Adam Kamel Mekki, 20; and Mohamedtaha Omar, 23.
All three come from east African families, according to local media. But York told CNN affiliate WPTA that authorities have “no reason to believe this is any type of hate crime or focus because of their religion or nationality.”
Valerie Handschu told WANE she knew Mekki and Omar from her time working at the Salvation Army Youth Center, which the two attended.
Mekki was “sweet and genuine and was just full of joy and energy,” she said. She described Omar as someone who “could make anybody laugh” and “could find a connection with any type of person.”
“They will always be remembered as good kids,” Abdelaziz Hassab, a relative of Omar and Tairab, told WANE at their funeral. “We all came here to find like peace and security away from war zones. But the destiny waiting for us here is … really crazy.
An abandoned home
The bodies of the victims were discovered in an abandoned home, York told WANE.
“It had been a place where young people would go — there was no adult supervision,” he said. “We were aware that this home had become a problem for the neighborhood.”
York said the killings probably occurred “within an hour” because a group of people left the home only to return shortly after and discover the grisly scene.
Police seek information
Hamilton said based on the number of victims, there had to be multiple people present when the crime was committed.
“It’s hard for one person to commit that act by himself,” he said.
Hamilton attended the funeral for Omar and Tairab on Saturday, imploring anyone to come forward with information.
“I need someone to come and tell me what they know,” he said. “Please, I’m asking for your help and your mercy to bring justice for these young men.”
Investigators have not released a motive for the killings.