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‘Vehement atheist’ guns down three Muslim students near UNC-Chapel Hill

Terrible news out of Chapel Hill, the New York Daily News reports this morning:

Three young members of a Muslim family were killed by their neighbor Tuesday afternoon in their home over an ongoing dispute about parking near the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus, police say.

A suspect, Craig Stephen Hicks, a 46-year-old self-professed atheist who recently expressed opinions online about violence in the Middle East, surrendered to police and was charged with three counts of first-degree murder. Found dead were husband and wife Deah Barakat, 23, and Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, as well as Yusor’s sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19. All three were shot “execution style,” The Independent reported.

Barakat, a Syrian-American, is a doctoral student at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Dentistry, according to the Charlotte News and Observer. His wife and her sister attend North Carolina State.

The police are wary of calling this a hate crime at this point, but the suspect lived in the same neighborhood. Outraged Twitter users started a #MuslimLivesMatter hashtag in a bid to get media coverage to the now-day-old crime, the Daily News said.

Hicks described “radical Christians and radical Muslims” as ideological allies on Facebook two days before the shootings, and posted a picture of his loaded revolver three weeks earlier.

Read the Daily News story.

h/t Jonah Goldberg

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IMAGE: Yusor Abu-Salha’s Facebook page

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