Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill


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On Tuesday February 10th, shortly after 5pm a man named Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, turned himself into the Catham Country Sheriff’s Office in Pittsboro following the shooting, which happened in the Finley Forest complex off Barbee Chapel Road. He has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife, Yusor Mohammad, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19. All three were students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, one graduate, and two current.

Police said “an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking” may have been a factor in the shootings Tuesday evening. All three victims were shot in the head. In one post widely shared online, Hicks, who claimed he is atheist, allegedly wrote: “When it comes to insults, your religion started this, not me. If your religion kept its big mouth shut, so would I.”

“We are sensitive to the impact an incident of this nature has on campus and in the community,” the school said. “We understand you want to know the facts as quickly as possible. At the same time, we must respect the job our Chapen Hill police have as they investigate this crime.”

The father of the two women said that the suspected gunman hated his daughter and son-in-law for who they were and how they lived, he believes their deaths are hate crimes. The statement comes as Durham District Attorney Roger Echols said that he is not ruling out the possibility of a hate crime in the slayings of Deah, Razan, and Mohammad.

“It was execution style, a bullet in every head,” Abu-Salha said Wednesday morning. “This was not a dispute over a parking space; this was a hate crime. This man hand picked on my daughter and her newlywed husband a couple of times before.”


Many people poured in donations for a trip Mr. Barakat had been planning to bring dental care to Syrian refugees in Turkey. The fund-raising effort had been short of its $20,000 goal at the time of the murders. As of Thursday morning, the total stood at more than $200,000.


First off, I’m sorry for their losses. They were classmates, all attending or have attended The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Being a senior, its scary to see how many shootings have been occurring at some colleges and universities. Its scary to think that this group of people were at a car, and due to whether it was the dispute or indeed a hate crime, that they all had to lose their lives. Personally, I’m leaning a little towards the hate crime part mainly because of the fact it seemed to be execution style.