Wednesday, February 11, 2015

#ChapelHillShooting #MuslimLivesMatter - Man Charged For Shooting Death of 3 Muslim Students

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#ChapelHillShooting - Police have arrested Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, and charged him with the murder of three Muslim students at an apartment near the Chapel Hill campus at the University of North Carolina. The three victims are Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; Yusor Mohammad, 21; and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19. Barakat and Yusor Mohammad had been married for just one month; Razan Abu-Salha was Yusor's sister. All three had been shot in the head, and all were students.

Shortly after the shootings, Hicks turned himself into police, however, authorities aren’t yet saying what the shooter's motivation may have been.

The shooting deaths have already led to trending hashtags on Twitter - #ChapelHillShooting and #MuslimLivesMatter - with people posting photos of how the victims should be remembered, and saying they were killed because they were muslim.

Police said "an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking" may have compelled the accused, Craig Stephen Hicks, to allegedly carry out the attack Tuesday evening, CNN reports.

Hicks turned himself in to police later in the night and is being held in the Durham County Jail without bond. He was cooperating with investigators, police said Wednesday morning.

"Our investigators are exploring what could have motivated Mr. Hicks to commit such a senseless and tragic act. 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," said Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue.

But given the victims' religion and comments the alleged shooter apparently left on a Facebook page, many social media users wondered what role, if any, the victims' faith played.

Hicks is being held on three counts of first-degree murder.

One post that has been widely shared online, but not yet verified to have been really written by Hicks, who claims he is an atheist, allegedly reads:

"When it comes to insults, your religion started this, not me. If your religion kept its big mouth shut, so would I."

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