A hate crime or longstanding parking dispute leaves three dead in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Wednesday after 5:00pm a call was received by 911 reporting the sounds of screaming and anywhere from 5 to 10 gunshots. Unfortunately, by the time local police units arrived on the scene, three Muslims who were of Arab decent were found dead at the hands of Craig Hicks their Caucasian neighbor. Deah Shaddy Barakat and Yusor Mohammad were newlyweds and the third victim Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha was the sister of Yusor. All of the victims were described as caring individuals who volunteered routinely and were hardworking individuals. The families of the brutally murdered victims insist that this is a hate crime.
To have him come in here and shoot three different innocent people in their head — I don’t know what kind of person that is.
stated Namee Barakat who’s the father of Deah Shaddy Barakat. Chapel Hill police released a news statement identifying the reason for the dispute was parking. Chief of Police Chris Blue went on to say
We understand the concerns about the possibility that this was hate-motivated, and we will exhaust every lead to determine if that is the case. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of these young people who lost their lives so needlessly.
Area Muslim leaders hint at increased tensions against Muslims since the widely publicized Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, France. Many individuals have taken to social media to express outrage over this tragic event and the lack media attention that this situation is receiving. Hashtags saying #MuslimLivesMatter are tending on various social networks and a dedication Facebook page called Our Three Winners has been created in their honor. In a short time the page has amassed over 97,995 likes thus far. Mr. Hicks turned himself in to the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office in nearby Pittsboro and is currently being charged with three counts of murder. Wednesday night UNC held a vigil to remember the lives senselessly taken to soon and the turnout was monumental according to supporters.
-Nakeasha Johnson (@NakeashaJ)