A 29-year-old woman was killed Monday in her Gold Coast apartment in an apparent murder-suicide by her soon-to-be ex-husband, according to authorities. The photographer from Tennessee moved to Chicago in June 2021 and had been open about her struggles with divorce on social media.
Sania Khan was found dead in her apartment on the 200 block of East Ohio Street around 4:30 p.m. Monday after police officers responded to a well-being check at the residence, according to a police report. Officers knocked on the door and heard a single gunshot along with the sound of a man groaning, the report said.
Officers entered the apartment and found Khan unresponsive with a gunshot wound to the head and Raheel Ahmed, 36, lying in the bedroom, also unresponsive with a head injury and a gun in his right hand.
Khan was pronounced dead at the scene, while Ahmed was taken to Northwestern Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, the report said.
Khan and Ahmed were going through a divorce, according to the report. The Alpharetta Police Department in Georgia said Ahmed’s family had reported him missing, the report said, and the Cook County medical examiner’s office said Ahmed is from Alpharetta.
Khan died of a gunshot wound to the head, and her death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner’s office. Ahmed’s death was ruled as a suicide by a gunshot wound to the head.
A GoFundMe started in Khan’s memory to help her family raised over $15,000 in just three hours.
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Khan, who turned 29 last month, said on her website that she was from Chattanooga, Tennessee, and loved hiking and camping. She’d lived in Chicago a little over a year, but the medical examiner’s office has a Chattanooga address listed for her.
Although Khan was based in Chicago, she said on her website that she loved “flying out to different cities to take pictures” and enjoyed travel so much that she was once a flight attendant.
Photography was “a huge part” of Khan’s life, she said on her website, and she put her “heart and soul into every picture.”
“I help people fall in love with themselves and each other in front of the camera,” Khan wrote in her Instagram bio.
She was open on TikTok about her ongoing divorce and the struggles that came with getting a divorce as a South Asian woman.
“Going through a divorce as a South Asian woman feels like you failed at life sometimes,” she wrote in one of her posts on TikTok. “The way the community labels you, the lack of emotional support you receive, and the pressure to stay with someone because ‘what will people say’ is isolating. It makes it harder for women to leave marriages that they shouldn’t have been in to begin with.”
Chicago police said the investigation was ongoing, and there were no new updates as of early Tuesday evening.