Law enforcement said a neighbor dispute involving parking might have been a factor in Tuesday evening’s shooting. All three of the shooting victims suffered wounds to the head.
Craig Stephen Hicks, the suspect, turned himself in late Tuesday night and is being held without bond. He has cooperated with police investigators, said authorities on Wednesday.
Law enforcement is attempting to determine what caused Hicks to do such a thing and if it was hate motivated.
However, given that all three victims were Muslims and comments Hicks is alleged to have left on a page on Facebook, many users of social media wonder what role the faith of the victims played.
The three victims were 23-year old Deah Shaddy Barakat, 21-year old Yusor Mohammad and 19-year old Razan Mohammad. Barakat was married to Yusor Mohammad, while Yusor and Razan were sisters.
Barakat was in his second year of the School of Dentistry at UNC and was attempting to raise money so he could provide Syrian refugees dental care in Turkey.
He was married just over one month to Yusor, who was planning to start her own dental studies this fall at UNC. Razan attended North Carolina State University located in Raleigh.
The apartment complex where the shootings occurred is home to a number of students that attend local universities. Tuesday night both family and friends gathered while awaiting word from law enforcement.
Hicks has been charged with three counts of murder in the first degree.
In a post that has been shared widely across social media. Hicks, who has claimed to be atheist, allegedly wrote that, “with regard to insults, their religion started the problem not him and if their religion had kept its mouth shut so would have he.”
Law enforcement authorities said that as soon as more information becomes available, they would release it to the public.