Three young black men were shot execution-style on Feb. 24 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
The bodies of Mohamedtaha Omar, 23, Adam Mekki, 20, and Muhannad Tairab, 17, were found in a vacant home that has been used for parties since the owners moved to Indianapolis, WANE reports.
“It had been a place where young people would go," public safety director Rusty York said. "There was no adult supervision. To hang out, to drink, maybe smoke marijuana, it was one of those type homes. Primarily young people whose parents have come from the Sudan or Chad."
The three men were part of a predominantly Muslim community with roots in Africa’s eastern Sahel region and may have been followers of the religion, according to Vox.
A motive has not been established, but officials do not believe this was a hate crime.
“I wanted to reassure the community that we have no reason to believe that this was focused at these young men because of their religion or their nationality," York said. "We don’t believe that’s the case at all."
The coroner would not release how many times each of the men were shot, but police chief Garry Hamilton said they suffered multiple gunshot wounds, WANE reports.
York said the men were shot execution-style, and that the murders occurred within an hour of when other people left the home.
“We know that the homicides occurred probably within an hour because we talked to folks who had been there a little bit earlier and returned in a short amount of time to find that this had happened,” York said.
Police believe the murders were committed by more than one person.
“With that many people involved, victims, it’s hard for one person to commit that act by themselves so there had to be some other people present," Hamilton said. "I’m hoping that someone saw a group of people leaving that residence or may have seen something they think may not be important, but is very important to helping us. These young people were just starting out their lives, and now they’ve lost their lives.”
There are no suspects in the case and the FBI and ATF are assisting with the investigation, WPTA reports.
The house had been under surveillance by the Fort Wayne Police Department’s Gang and Violent Crimes unit in the weeks prior to the killings.
The three men were not known to be associated with any gang activity, but police have not ruled out the possibility that their deaths were gang-related.