Family, friends, community say goodbye to brothers killed in Palmetto shooting

Funeral services were held Tuesday for Khasem and Faares Yousef.
Funeral services were held Tuesday for Khasem and Faares Yousef.

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.

Dozens of mourners gathered for a prayer service before the burial of the two shooting victims.
Dozens of mourners gathered for a prayer service before the burial of the two shooting victims.

WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

1 thought on “Family, friends, community say goodbye to brothers killed in Palmetto shooting

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s