3 Muslim students killed by an anti-theist in Chapel Hill, NC

3 Muslim students killed by an anti-theist in Chapel Hill, NC February 11, 2015

Three young Muslim students were killed in their homes yesterday. They were shot in the head.

CNN reports:

A 46-year-old man has been charged with murder in the shooting death of three Muslim students in an apartment near the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus.

Police haven’t said what may have compelled the accused, Craig Stephen Hicks, to allegedly carry out the attack Tuesday evening. He turned himself in to police later in the night.

But given the victims’ religion and comments the alleged shooter apparently left on a Facebook page, many social media users wondered what role, if any, the victims’ faith played.

The victims were Muslims: Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; Yusor Mohammad, 21; and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19.

Barakat was Mohammad’s husband; Abu-Salha was her sister, the school said.

Barakat was a second-year student at the UNC School of Dentistry, who was raising money on a fundraising site to provide dental care to Syrian refugees in Turkey.

He had been married for just over a month to Yusor Mohammad, who was planning to begin her dental studies at UNC in the fall, according to the school

Abu-Salha was a student at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

The alleged shooter, Craig Stephen Hicks, had an active anti-theist presence on social media. Early this morning, Richard Dawkins tweeted the following:

I’ll return to this after some respectful distance has passed, but in the meantime, Buzzfeed has a touching look at the lives of the victims

Update: Police not ruling out hate-based motivation. 

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