Hate Motive Investigated in NC Murder of 3 Muslims


In a shooting that some were characterizing as a hate crime, police have charged a Chapel Hill, N.C., man with first-degree murder in the deaths of three Muslim college students who were his neighbors. Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, is accused of shooting Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; his wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, and Abu-Salha's sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19. Barakat was a dental student at the University of North Carolina. The sisters were North Carolina State University students.

The shooting happened at about 5 p.m. Tuesday. Hicks later surrendered to police. Police said the shooting may have resulted from a parking dispute. Media reports said he was a “militant atheist” who ranted about religion on social media. Barakat and Abu-Salha were married Dec. 27. The sisters graduated from high school in Raleigh, N.C. Barakat, a Syrian-American, and his wife advocated for global dental health, providing care and supplies to people in the United States and the Middle East.

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