Chapel Hill Murder


Newly Married Couple Amongst Dead

Three members of a Muslim family have been shot dead in a quiet North Carolina town, which included a newly married couple.


Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Abu-Salha, 21 and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19, were named by police after neighbours heard gunfire.


Both Razan and Yusor had been students are the nearby North Carolina University, whilst Barakat had been a doctoral student in UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Dentistry.


Police had responded to a number of gunshots in the typically quiet area of Summerwalk Circle in Chapel Hill at around 5.11pm on Tuesday evening. Upon arrival, officers found the three young individuals, who were pronounced dead at the scene. 


A 46-year-old had been arrested by police who was later named as Craig Stephen Hicks who was later charged with three accounts of murder. He had openly described himself as an atheist whilst condemning all religions. According to local reports, Hicks handed himself in last night.


In shock and disbelief, people took to social media to voice their anger as fears grew that the attack was sparked by the victims’ religious beliefs. 


Whilst Barakat and Yusor had been married little over a month ago, he had been described as a “charitable person” with a recent Facebook post stating “Tonight we provided free dental supplies and food to over 75 homeless people in downtown Durham.”


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