Sania Khan, TikToker, Murdered by Ex-Husband

A man traveled from Alpharetta, Georgia to Chicago, where he fatally shot his ex-wife, photographer Sania Khan, on July 18, police said. The man, 36-year-old Raheel Ahmad, turned his weapon on himself as police officers tried to get inside, according to police reports. Khan, 29, posted TikTok videos about the end of their divorce on TikTok before she was killed.

Police went to Khan's condominium in the 200 block of East Ohio Street around 4:30 p.m. on July 18, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Police in Alpharetta called Chicago police to request a well-check on Ahmad, according to police reports. Ahmad's family reported him missing in Georgia and police there told Chicago police Ahmad was "going through a divorce." He was depressed and tried to "salvage" the marriage. However, two of Khan's friends told the Sun-Times the divorce was finalized in May.

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When officers knocked on Khan's door, they heard a gunshot and a "verbal groan." Khan was found unresponsive at the door with a gunshot wound to the back of her head, a source told the Sun-Times. There was also blood on Khan's face that was already dried. Ahmad was found in a bedroom with a gunshot wound to the head. He was holding a 9mm Glock handgun and suicide was nearby.

Khan was pronounced dead at the scene, Chicago police and the Cook County medical examiner's office said. Ahmad was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Khan's death was ruled a homicide, while Ahmad's death was ruled a suicide.

In the weeks before her death, Khan used her TikTok page to speak about her divorce from Khan. In a June 1 video, she noted it was difficult to go through a divorce as a South Asian woman. "Going through a divorce as a South Asian woman feels like you failed at life sometimes," she captioned the clip. "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."

In another video, she said the first months of the divorce journey are the "darkest." The process is "full of anxiety, sleepless nights, wondering if you're doing the right thing, thinking Allah abandoned you, and feeling hopeless," she wrote. "You are not a failure because your marriage did not work out. Be gentle with your heart during this stage. Time does heal all things and it will get better."

Khan was a photographer whose professional website features photos of happy couples. She grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and moved to Chicago in June 2021. She also worked as a flight attendant because she loved traveling, according to her website. Khan and Ahmad broke up last winter and divorced "months later," her high school friend Grant told the Sun-Times.

Khan had plans to get a restraining order against Ahmad, her friends told Time Magazine. "She was leaving. They hadn't lived together for a long time. She had a home here with me. I was there to bring her home. There was no reconciling," Gabriella Bordó, one of Khan's closest friends, said. "This man did not go there to salvage a marriage. He went there with a gun for a reason. He knew I was coming. My social media and hers [are] completely public. It was his last opportunity and he took it."

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"She could make a friend out of anyone and would always be there for them during their moments," Grant told the Sun-Times. "You would be hard pressed to find anyone who would say something bad about Sania because just knowing Sania added so much light to your life."

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