Three Muslim-American family members, aged 19 through 23, all students, were killed Tuesday evening in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. What’s known in this developing story is that a 46-year-old white man, Craig Stephen Hicks, turned himself into police following the triple homicide of Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife, Yusor Mohammad, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19. Police have not released a statement on Hicks’ motive and while his religion has not been confirmed, one early WRAL report points to Facebook posts linked to Hicks about atheism. He reportedly lived in the same neighborhood as the three victims.
According to WRAL, Barakat, a dental student at UNC-Chapel Hill, married North Carolina State student, Mohammad in December. Her younger sister Razan also attended NC State and is a graduate of a Raleigh high school. Barakat, seen in the call-for-donations video above, was scheduled to travel to Turkey this year as part of Project Refugee Smiles to provide free dental care to Syrians fleeing civil war.
The hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter appeared over night to protest an apparent lack of media coverage. News of the triple homicide, according to the NY Daily News, did not make national headlines last night.
The story is developing.