Golam and Shamima Rabbi left Bangladesh for the U.S. decades ago. They were beloved in the San Jose community, fostered successful careers, had two sons, and lived in a quiet hillside home.
But on Sunday, a group of friends became worried about the couple. They hadn’t seen or heard from the Rabbis in several days and stopped by their Lucas Court home, in the city’s Evergreen neighborhood, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
These friends entered through a sliding-glass door and searched the house. Soon, they found themselves amid the scene of a double murder. Both Golam, 59, and Shamima, 57, had been shot to death. They were lying on the floor, bleeding and unresponsive, and had suffered at least one gunshot wound each.
In a disturbing twist, two cryptic messages were found scrawled in the house, one near the bodies and the other on a nearby wall.
According to ABC7, the first message was written on the hardwood floor in ink.
“Sorry my first kill was clumsy.”
A second noted was written on a wall and was reportedly directed at the couple’s eldest son, who is in his early 20s and unaccounted for.
Among other things, it read, “I can’t be like you telling a lie. I can’t love someone without telling them.” The message also revealed that Shamima begged for her life.
So far, investigators don’t believe that either of the Rabbis’ sons are responsible for the double murder.
ABC 7 also reported that both boys, aged 17 and 21, according to friends, were not at home at the time. The News added that both are believed to live at home. The youngest son was interviewed by police already and ruled out as a suspect.
The older son is still being sought by the police and his whereabouts haven’t been accounted for since the double murder. Police said he isn’t a suspect, either, but may have information about parents’ deaths. According to NBC Bay Area, he’s been identified as Haseeb Rabbi.
According to the Los Angeles Times, a motive or suspect hasn’t yet been identified and police won’t comment on the notes; no gunfire was reported at the home prior to the discovery of the bodies. Investigators are saying little about the double murder — San Jose‘s 15th and 16th — but don’t believe the act was random.
“The suspect was someone familiar to the family.”
Since older son is missing, funerals of Golam and Shamima Rabbi delayed, another tragedy for Muslim community. https://t.co/qsDLdUZK2S— NBC Bay Area (@nbcbayarea) April 27, 2016
This is an important fact given that the Rabbis were Muslim, raising concerns that their deaths were the result of a hate crime. So far, no evidence has emerged to support this possibility. Police have also confirmed that the public isn’t in any danger, and the double murder isn’t a murder-suicide.
The couple worshipped at the Evergreen Islamic Center nearby, and were active in the South Bay Islamic Association.
Fellow Evergreen member Hasan Rahim said that “It’s so difficult to reconcile to the tragic, violent end to such simple, gentle souls.”
Their deaths have shocked San Jose’s tight-knit Islamic and Bangladeshi communities. The Rabbis were described as humble, polite, peaceful, loving, and generous by those who knew them. Following the news of their brutal deaths, flowers quickly lined the driveway of their home.
Faisal Yazadi, also a member of the center, said the manner of their deaths is difficult to handle.
“We are surprised that they are no longer with us and especially going away in such a manner is something we just can’t come to grips with.”
In response to their deaths, the Islamic association released a statement.
“We ask Allah to forgive the deceased, shower his mercy on them, and make their graves a garden from paradise,” it said. “In addition, we extend our deepest condolences to the family and ask Allah to grant them strength and patience during this most difficult time.”
[Photo by Matt Tilghman/Shutterstock]