The questions left unanswered

A memorial still stands in the place where Loyola student Mutahir Rauf was gunned down the night of Dec. 5.

Flowers, photos, candles, flags and a sign reading “Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return” remain on-site four months after the 23-year-old Pakistani student was killed during an attempted robber near the intersection of Albion and Lakewood avenues — just one block west of Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus.

But as the memorial stands, so do questions about his death and the police investigation surrounding it.

On Dec. 5, Rauf was walking with his younger brother when two men approached them, pulled out a gun and attempted a robbery. He was shot twice at 7:50 p.m. that Friday, a police spokesman told The PHOENIX then.

Earlier in the year, a Freedom of Information Act request to the Chicago Police Department (CPD) showed there were 38 police officers patrolling the 24th District, where Loyola is located, the night Rauf was killed near Lakeview and Albion avenues.

CPD was notified about a minute after the incident, Thomas Waldera, commander for the 24th District, told The PHOENIX earlier this year.

“The original call came at 7:51:40 p.m.,” said Waldera. “A mission car arrived less than two full minutes after … I was on the scene in about five minutes.”

The 24th District encompasses Rogers Park and parts of the Edgewater and West Rogers Park neighborhoods, from Howard Street to West Peterson Avenue and from North Kedzie Avenue to the lake. By February, police said no arrests had been made.

Two months later, in April, officer Thomas Sweeny, another police spokesman, said there’s still no one in custody in connection to Rauf’s killing and that the investigation is still ongoing.

But this is as much as the CPD has been willing to give out. Police authorities, including the head officer of the CPD’s Office of News Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 11.08.05 PMAffairs, both the chief and deputy chief of CPD’s investigative division, and the Area North Detective Division — the unit in charge of the investigation — have ignored interview requests and questions from The PHOENIX.

“We don’t give out information because it’s an ongoing investigation,” said a spokesman for Area North Detectives earlier in the year. This has meant giving no information at all, and the last investigation update Loyola students received came on Jan. 20, when an email said CPD continued to work on the case and Campus Safety’s officers were being deployed strategically.

As of now, the descriptions of the suspects are the only information available. The suspects are described as being 18-20 years old, one of them African-American and the other either African- American or Hispanic. Both were wearing black hoodies at the time of the events, according to an email sent to the Loyola community on Dec. 6.

All other questions remain unanswered.

Rauf’s murder is not the only crime incident for which no one has been arrested, though. Out of the 122 crime incidents that CPD’s Clear-Map incident tracker shows have taken place since the academic year started in the 2432 and 2433 police beats –– corresponding to the areas where Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus is located in Rogers Park and Edgewater — arrests have only been made in connection to nine cases.

Of those 122 incidents, six of them involved handguns, including several robberies at gunpoint. There has been one murder in the district this year — the result of a shooting on the 1700 block of North Clark Street in the early morning of Feb. 25. No one has been arrested in connection to that shooting.

It is still unclear how many detectives are involved in the investigation of Rauf’s death, or if there are any promising leads.

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