(From The Campus Lantern – February 19, 2015)
On Tuesday, February 10th, three students were shot and killed at an apartment near the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Campus. All of the victims, Deah Barakat, 23, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, and Razan Abu-Salha, 19, were Muslim. Allegedly, the shooter, Craig Hicks, 46, had previously posted anti-religious beliefs on his Facebook page. Consequently, there have been disputes in the media over whether the killing was a hate-crime or simply a disagreement over a parking spot between the victims and the shooter.
Deah, Yusor, and Razan were all known as selfless, compassionate people; all three volunteered in their communities. Yusor and Razan’s father stated, “They all volunteered in downtown Raleigh many times a year to feed the homeless and the hungry. They cooked loads of food. They came heartbroken to me to tell me how many grown men they’ve seen, standing in line, waiting for a bite” (www.cnn.com).
Yusor and Deah, according to CNN, were both planning a mission trip to Turkey this summer.
According to CNN, Hicks was indicted on Tuesday on three counts of first-degree murder. He was also charged with discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling.
Hicks’ wife’s attorney has been quoted as saying this case “highlights the importance of access to mental health care services,” suggesting that Hicks’ actions were due to a mental illness. However, the Yusor and Razan’s father thinks otherwise. He stated, “My daughter, Yusor, honest to God, told us on more than two occasions that this man came knocking at the door and fighting about everything with a gun on his belt, more than twice. She told us, ‘Daddy, I think he hates us for who we are and how we look’” (www.cnn.com). Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that three innocent people were killed and justice needs to be served for Deah, Yusor, and Razan.