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Ind. authorities investigate 3 fatally shot

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Posted at 12:37 PM, Feb 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-28 12:37:50-05

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- Authorities in Indiana are seeking information after two men and a teenager who were part of an African community were found shot to death last week inside a Fort Wayne home.

The bodies of 23-year-old Mohamedtaha Omar, 20-year-old Adam Kamel Mekki and 17-year-old Muhannad Adam Tairab were found Wednesday evening by officers responding to a "problem unknown" dispatch. Each was shot multiple times, Police Chief Garry Hamilton told WANE-TV, and the Allen County Coroner's Office says the deaths have been ruled homicides.

The families of the three were from central Africa and belonged to a community that is heavily Muslim, Hamilton and Fort Wayne Safety Director Rusty York told the (Fort Wayne) Journal-Gazette, though neither knew whether the three were religious.

York says authorities don't have any reason to believe the killings were a hate crime.

Vox Media published a story Saturday that called the killings "mysterious," prompting people on social media to question why it did not receive wider news coverage. The killings came the same week as mass shootings in Kalamazoo, Michigan; Hesston, Kansas; and near Belfair, Washington.

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The residence where the bodies were found was known as a party house for teens and young adults of African descent, York told WPTA-TV.

A day of remembrance started at the Islamic Center of Fort Wayne on Saturday for Omar and Tairab, who immigrated to the U.S. in the last decade, WANE-TV reported.

"We all came here to find peace and security ... we're from war zones," Abdelaziz Hassab, a relative of the two, told the television station. He also said Omar and Tairab "always have been diligent to help their familiar and look for a better future."

The families of Omar and Tairab will meet with police Tuesday to hear about the ongoing investigation.

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