46-year-old, Craig Stephen Hicks is being charged with the death of three muslim students.
Last night (Feb 10) Hicks turned himself after shooting Deah Shaddy Barakat (23), Yusor Mohammad (21), and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha (19) all in the head in an apartment near the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus.
The police are currently looking at “an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking” as the cause behind the murders but have noted that it may be hate-motivated.
“Our investigators are exploring what could have motivated Mr. Hicks to commit such a senseless and tragic act,” Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue said. “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.”
However Hick’s atheist practice and Facebook page are telling a different story, one in which their religion played a bigger factor than a parking spot.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations are asking police to “address speculation about a possible bias motive” and the Muslim Public Affairs Council wants a federal probe “if the motives of the shooter are confirmed based on his previous social media posts.”
Deah was a second-year dental student and recently married Yusor who was entering dental school in the fall. Razan was Yusor’s sister and a student at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.