TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tuesday afternoon, an estimated 1,200 mourners gathered at the Islamic Community of Tampa in memory of two young brothers who were gunned down in Palmetto during an armed robbery.
23-year-old Khasem Yousef and 17-year-old Faares Yousef were shot to death Monday afternoon.
Tuesday the Imam at MasJid Al-Qassam at on E. 130th Ave in Tampa urged his followers to show patience for justice following the execution-style murders of the brothers 24 hours earlier.
“The law will take its course,” said Mosque Manager Hatem Fariz after the Imam’s remarks. “We trust our law enforcement to ring the killer the murder to justice.”
Moments later the Imam interrupted the prayer service to announce the arrest of a suspect in the Yousef brothers murders. That brought immediate relief to hundreds of men who were packed tightly inside the building. Women were praying simultaneously in a separate hall in keeping with Islamic religious tradition.
Family friends say the Yousef brothers were known for their charity and community service.”I think a lot of people will be missing these two people,” said Hassan Shibly of CAIR.
After an hour or so of afternoon prayer the crowd filtered out of the mosque with the brothers’ caskets for a short ride to the Sunset Memory Gardens in Thonotosassa where they were buried Tuesday afternoon side by side.
“It is a very emotional moment for the family for the mother for the father for the sisters for the brothers and for the rest of the family and we just pray to God that God give them patients to pull through this,” said Fariz.
The mourners lingered at the ceremony for hours as they “showered them with prayers” according to Fariz.
They are from a large family of Palestinian origin. They leave behind their parents as well as two brothers and two sisters and dozens of cousins in a clan said to number around 200.
Monday they were filling in at their father’s grocery story in Palmetto which he normally worked when a gunmen shot and killed both of them.
“They’re young hardworking individuals who were working hard to support their family and their community,” said Shibly. “Its just horrific to see anybody killed in such a horrific and barbaric manner.”
In keeping with Islamic religious practices the Yousef brothers were buried within a day of their deaths. The manatee Medical Examiner rushed their autopsies at the family’s request.