Three young Muslims were shot dead at a condominium complex in Chapel Hill, N.C. The three victims belonged to the same family.
A 23-year-old man named Deah Shaddy Barakat, his 21-year-old wife Yusor Mohammad and her 19-year-old sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha were murdered in their home in the evening of Feb. 10.
The police received a call reporting gunshots at around 5.10 pm in a condominium complex on Summerwalk Circle, in Chapel Hill, that houses young professionals, families and graduate students. The neighbors were in shock as they say this is a very calm and safe area.
The three young Muslim-Americans were pronounced dead at the scene. Police found there was no threat to the public, however neighbors are obviously in shock and some have declared how distressing this event has been.
Police were doing their best to calm people down, having very little information themselves they were not able to provide the public with answers. Officer Ron Telfair said the police investigations team was in charge to notify the family members about the murder. A psychology student, also a Chapel Hill resident, declared she did not hear anything when she arrived home before 4 pm. The day had been a normal day when she got off the bus but a bit later it was all “chaos and confusion” she said.
People who live in the neighborhood were shocked and could not believe this could happen so close to them, they were also complaining about the lack of information. Police had to end up stopping people from coming near the scene as they were unable to identify if the people approaching were family members or not. Police declared they would not be able to give any more details until the next morning.
A 46-year-old man has allegedly turned himself in and has been arrested on three counts of first-degree murder. Craig Stephen Hicks is the main suspect, his motives still remain unknown. In his Facebook page he declares himself as anti-religious and “anti-theist.”
Chapel Hill shootings, that has left three young people dead, is being met with anger by users in social media, who are making public their outrage about the very little coverage the news is still having. Photos of the three young Muslim-Americans are being posted in the most popular media sites with messages of grief and indignation, comparing this terrible news with what happened in France in January this year.
The young man who was killed in the shooting was a dental student at the University of North Carolina, and a volunteer for a charity that provides children in Palestine with dental care. Last January he posted on his Twitter account how “freaking sad” it was to hear things like “kill Jews” or “kill Palestinians” and that saying such things was not going to solve anything.
A Facebook page named “Our Three Winners” has now been set up for any official announcements and in memory of the three innocent victims. On Twitter thousands of people keep on stating their annoyance at the treatment the news of the shooting in Chapel Hill, that has left three young Muslims dead, is receiving. Their complaint is about the little news coverage and their protest states that all lives matter.
By Vanessa Pouso