Although authorities believe this could have been the reason behind the murders, the father of two of the victims claims that the murders were hate crimes because the killer hated his daughters on account of their religious beliefs.
The victims’ father said that the killer threatened his daughters before and was hateful towards them.
The man who shot the three Muslim students is Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, and was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder.
After shooting the students, he turned himself in to the police station in Chapel Hill.
The students he fatally shot were Yusor Abu-Salha, her husband Deah Shaddy Barakat and her sister Razan Abu-Salha.
Dr. Mohammad Abu-Salha, the victims’ father, said the murders were done like an execution, with the killer shooting his victims in the head.
He doesn’t believe the murders had to do with the dispute over the parking space. He says that the killer had picked on one of her daughters and her husband several times before.
According to the father, the killer had even approached two of his victims and talked to them while carrying a gun at his belt.
Dr. Mohammad Abu-Salha said that one of his daughters lived next door to the killer and told her family that her neighbor was “hateful” towards her and her husband.
Supposedly, his daughter told him that Hicks hated them for their religion and the way they look.
The police did not say if the triple homicide is considered to be a hate crime.
Ripley Rand, US Attorney, said in a news conference that the case needs further investigation before pronouncing a motive.
According to Rand, the recent shootings are not part of a “targeting campaign” against Muslim citizens that live in North Carolina. He explained that the murders seem to be an isolated incident, so far.
Abdullah Antepli, the Muslim chaplain of the Duke University spoke about the murders, saying that the Muslim community is mourning the tragic incidents are trying to understand what happened.
Image Source: hercampus