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Loyola student killed in robbery was "bright, loyal" friends say

Mutahir Rauf wanted to make a difference in the world. He hoped to be a doctor, his friends and family said.

“His passion was to help people,” said Ahmed Rehab, a friend of Rauf’s family. “He wanted to use science and his love of science to do that.”

On Friday, the Loyola University Chicago student was shot and killed in an attempted robbery near the school’s Rogers Park campus.

Rauf was with his brother in the 1200 block of West Albion just before 8 p.m. Friday when two men walked up, showed a weapon and demanded his belongings.

The men are described to be between 18 to 20 years old and were wearing black hoodies and ski masks, Loyola University said in a statement, citing a police report.

Rauf thought the weapon was fake, tried to reach for it and was shot, Ald. Joe Moore (49th) said.

“To know that someone was shot point blank so close to where I’m taking classes is not a very comfortable feeling,” said Luigi Loizzo, 20, a Loyola junior from Addison who had a class with Rauf over the summer and lives close to where he was shot. “It’s pretty scary that I have to look over my shoulder every time I walk outside.”

The shooter “took the life of someone who was innocent, who didn’t mean to hurt anybody, who had a lot of friends, who was well loved,” said Rauf’s friend Jay Ramadurai.

He and other friends and family grieved Saturday for a man they said loved lifting weights and described as smart, kind, loyal and hard-working.

“He was somebody who had a balanced life,” said family friend Rehab, the executive director of CAIR-Chicago. “He studied hard, he looked good, he was well-liked by his friends, and he always cared to give back to society.”

Rauf was Pakistani and had lived in New York. He received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northwestern University in 2013 and was a post-baccalaureate student enrolled in Loyola’s pre-health professional program. He planned to go to medical school, Rehab said.

Rauf was already working as a medical clinical research assistant and had spent time in the Philippines working on a public health project, according to his online resume.

Rauf was also a gym rat who loved to lift weights — sometimes going to the gym twice a day — and he was happy to offer fitness advice to others at the Loyola gym, Ramadurai said.

Rehab said the Rauf family doesn’t want him remembered only as a victim of senseless crime “but, rather, for the incredible way he lived his life.”

On Sunday, Loyola officials will pray for Rauf and his family at the 10:30 a.m. Mass in the Madonna della Strada Chapel. And on Wednesday Loyola will gather students to pray for nonviolence.

Rauf’s parents planned to travel to Chicago from Pakistan.

A service will be held for Rauf in Chicago, Rehab said, followed by burial in Pakistan.

Any one with information on the shooting should call Chicago Police or Loyola’s Campus Safety office at (773) 508-6039.

Contributing: Rummana Hussain, Reema Amin