The crowd had also killed a neighbor who was hiding in his house and murdered Habib's cousin, Emil Nassim Sarafeem, as he fled. Emil had been a well-known political activist with the protest movement Tamarod ("Rebellion") that had helped topple Morsy. The mob beat up four or five policemen who tried to save Emil. Habib had no clear answers whether the murder was due to Emil's politics or simple hatred for Christians, but he was all too aware of how the last years had radicalized one-time friends.
"Before neighbors protected each other," Habib said. "I never thought this could happen here."
Tensions still remain high in Naga Hassan. While a police crackdown has seen 16 people arrested, Habib believes those who killed his brothers remain free. He now stays at the church just a few blocks from his Muslim neighbors. Ten other families, also displaced by the destruction, live there as well, pacing the courtyard, unsure of what to do next.
"Where else do I have to go?" he asked.
In a home a few blocks from Habib, Mohammed Gilani, Naga Hassan's local primary school principal, defended his fellow Muslims. He hotly denied that he or anyone else knows the 300 to 500 people who attacked Christian homes. He described them as young locals stunned by Hefny's death. He added, to nods of approval from several friends, that nobody recognized the culprits in the chaos.
Gilani's bravado died down when asked how this could happen now. "People are emotional right now," he said. "They have been emotional with everything going on."
Because Morsy was deposed? A pause. "No, nothing like that. It has nothing to do with politics." Why did they attack only Christians? "We don't have anything here called sectarianism. That's a made-up word. It was just a shock that somebody died here," he said, pleading to let the town settle its business on its own. "In the end, we have to live together."
Gilani introduced an older Christian woman who lives next door as proof of the brotherly relations among Christians and Muslims. He bragged that they have put a street lamp by her house, so she can walk safely at night. As if to demonstrate their credentials as moderates, he and a few colleagues even boasted they were involved in the campaign to force Morsy to resign.
As Gilani spoke, a phalanx of more than 30 policemen, including plainclothes officers holding revolvers, patrolled outside. They serve as a buffer between the two communities, hoping to prevent a new round of bloodshed from breaking out.
Back in Luxor, police acknowledge that what happened crossed the line from an ordinary murder into communal violence -- but they too can't quite understand how it happened. While there were brutal terror attacks in the 1990s against tourists, no one can recall previous instances of Muslim-Christian bloodshed in the Luxor region.
It is unclear how the state will address the killings. The prosecutor's office has made just one visit to the crime scene, and the case is in the hands of a junior attorney. The authorities have pledged to hold the guilty parties to account, but, despite the arrests, the prosecutors have been far from active.
There are those who view what happened with smugness. The head police officer for all of Luxor, who hails from Cairo, held court in his office recently, wearing a pinstriped shirt and a peach-colored fedora. He called the Christians and Muslims involved "stupid people." He dismissed the locals here as "gays" and suggested the sides should work it out among themselves through "their local customs."
But others are rattled by what they saw. On a late summer night in Luxor, as lizards crawled on a police station wall, one officer sat wide-eyed in the heat, still stunned by the events he witnessed.
He went over in his head how the situation unfolded; how the police felt outnumbered. How they did nothing when the mobs attacked the houses and waited for directions from their superiors to intervene. How the orders never came to push the mob back.
"I beg you, I beg you, ask yourself: What would you have done?" the officer said. "We were in an impossible situation."