What happened in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on Tuesday night was horrible. Awful!
Three NC State and UNC college students were shot in the head, murdered, execution style and left to die on the street.
They were Yusor Mohammad, 21, her 19-year old sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha and 23-year old Deah Shaddy Barakat.
Yusor and Deah had just gotten married in late December.
All of them were Muslim and salt of the earth kind of young people.
One of them, Deah, was raising money to take a humanitarian mission to help Syrian refugees.
“This Summer I’m embarking on a trip to Turkey with 10 dentists to help Syrian refugees in need of urgent dental care.”
The NC State community is devastated, but none more than family members and Muslims there and around the world; rightly so.
Family members and friends believe the students were murdered because of their faith and have made it their mission that their loved ones didn’t die in vain.
Last night they spoke on CNN.
“I know that there are ongoing investigations. Right now we just put all of our focus into thinking about remembering Deah, Yusor and Razan and not so much about why it happened but about remembering them and carrying on more about that it has happened and carrying on their legacies for a very long time.”
One of the fathers said the students problems began with their neighbor and now accused murderer when his daughters showed up at their apartment complex wearing headscarves.
The dad says he believes it was a hate crime.
But the suspect, Craig Stephen Hicks who was arrested and charged with three counts of murder, says the confrontation and killings were because of an ongoing parking dispute.
His wife Karen Hicks says the same thing.
“He often champions on his Facebook page for the rights of individuals. He just believes and that’s one of the things I know about him is that everyone is equal.”
The U.S. attorney says they’re looking at everything but right now it looks like a traffic dispute.
They’re even looking at alleged anti-religious Facebook postings from the suspect who calls himself an Anti-Theist.
Is it a hate crime?
Lawyers and judges last night on CNN say either way, North Carolina has a death penalty for murder and most likely a lethal injection is in Craig Stephen Hicks’ future.