Update, 10:27 p.m. ET: According to UNC-Chapel Hill, thousands gathered at UNC-Chapel Hill this evening to remember Deah Shaddy Bakarat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salha; Time reports on it here.
The Washington Post reports on the dispute over whether the shooting was a hate crime or the result of a disagreement over parking, and includes more background on Hicks, including an interview with his wife of seven years, who says he was attending school full-time to become a paralegal.
The hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter has become part of the online conversation. UNC-Chapel Hill’s Twitter feed has been broadcasting photos and remembrances from the vigil.
From UNC’s Twitter feed:
UNC Chancellor Carol L. Folt: “We want the legacy of these three wonderful students to be a legacy of hope and understanding.”
Imam Abdullah Antepli: “We cannot bring Deah, Yusor or Razan back… We can take part in fulfilling their dreams.”
The News & Observer and other state and national media outlets are reporting that three Muslim students were killed last night by Craig Stephen Hicks of Chapel Hill; he has been arrested on three counts of capital murder.
Deah Shaddy Barakat, 26, his wife Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, and Yusor’s sister Razan Abu-Salha, 19, were found dead at the scene. Barakat was a dentistry student at UNC-Chapel Hill and Yusor, studying biological sciences, and Razan, studying architecture and environmental design, were students at N.C. State University. Hicks was a neighbor. Bakarat and Abu-Salha were married in December.
A Facebook page has been created in memory of the three students – as of this morning it had more than 17,000 likes.
According to the News & Observer,
Both [Bakarat] and Abu-Salha advocated for global dental health, providing care and supplies to people in the United States and the Middle East. On Jan. 29, Bakarat posted a Facebook photo of a Durham project that gave dental supplies and food to more than 75 homeless people this year.
Bakarat was scheduled to travel with 10 other dentists this summer to Reyhanli, Turkey. There, they planned to treat Syrian refugee students for urgent dental needs, pass out toothbrushes and toothpaste, and support Turkish dentists and clinics.
Hours after the murders, more than $8,200 had been donated to the online campaign for “Project: Refuge[e] Smiles.”
The Independent reports that Hicks described himself as “anti-theist,” not Christian, and “criticised all religions online.”
Posted by Cara Ellen Modisett