Three young Muslims’ killings; hate crime or not?

World Bulletin / News Desk

Police say a dispute over a parking space spurred the murder Tuesday of three North Carolina college students, but the Muslim father of two of the victims insisted Wednesday that his daughters’ neighbor and alleged killer had menaced them before and was driven by hate.

The killings occurred in a condominium complex in a wooded area filled with two-story buildings. Neighbors said parking spaces were often a point of contention.

Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, of Chapel Hill, and his wife, Yusor Mohammad, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, of Raleigh, were shot to death at an apartment building in Chapel Hill, N.C. Their murder is a watershed moment for Americans to confront Islamaphobia in the country.

Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, of Chapel Hill, and his wife, Yusor Mohammad, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, of Raleigh, were shot to death at an apartment building in Chapel Hill, N.C. Their murder is a watershed moment for Americans to confront Islamaphobia in the country.

“I have seen and heard (Hicks) be very unfriendly to a lot of people in this community,” said Samantha Maness, 25, a community college student. But she said she had never seen him show animosity along religious lines.

On Facebook, Hicks’ profile picture reads “Atheists for Equality” and he frequently posted quotes critical of religion. On Jan. 20 he posted a photo of a .38-caliber revolver that he said was loaded and belonged to him.

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