When police arrived at a Tinley Park home Sunday, a father who allegedly shot and killed his wife and three daughters told arriving officers “they’re gone.”
Maher Kassem, 63, was detained in jail following a hearing Tuesday after he was arrested and charged with four counts of first-degree murder. Kassem is accused of killing his wife, 53-year-old Majeda Kassem, and three daughters — Halema Kassem, 25, Hanan Kassem, 24, and Zahia Kassem, 25 — following a verbal argument Sunday morning.
“Words can’t describe how deeply saddened I am at this horrible tragedy,” Tinley Park Mayor Michael Glotz said in a statement.
According to Cook County prosecutors, Maher Kassem called 911 around 11:21 a.m. Sunday to report that his wife had been shot, though he did not provide any additional details.
When officers arrived at Kassem’s home in the 7400 block of West 173rd Place, he granted them access and allegedly stated “they’re gone” and “everything is OK.” When an officer asked whether anyone had been shot, he stated “four people shot” and “I’m going to jail,” prosecutors alleged.
These statements were recorded on a body-worn camera, according to the prosecution’s proffer.
Police located the four women in the basement of the house. When an officer asked Kassem if he was responsible for the shooting, he allegedly responded by nodding. He also led police to two firearms in the house — a .38 caliber revolver with four spent shells and a 9mm handgun with an empty magazine, according to the proffer.
Prosecutors said Kassem’s 19-year-old son was also in the house and heard his father arguing with one of his daughters. As that arguing turned into yelling, the son said three of the victims tried to tell Kassem to calm down.
The son watched his father walk down to the basement where the women were located and then heard gunshots followed by screaming, prosecutors said. He allegedly saw his father shoot at least two of the victims.
Following his arrest, Kassem was recorded on police cameras stating “she treats me like a f--king dog” and “Wife’s worried about money and where she can take it. Bury me and take the money.”
“I worked for 45 years,” Kassem said, according to the proffer. “Money hungry b---h pushed me to it.”
Prosecutors said Majeda Kassem was shot seven times, and each of the three daughters were shot multiple times.
“A mother and her three daughters are gone, murdered in an act of senseless domestic violence,” Glotz said in a statement. “The entire Tinley Park community is heartbroken at the loss of these four innocent women, and we grieve alongside the family, friends and neighbors who loved them.”