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#ChapelHillShooting: What we know so far

#ChapelHillShooting: What we know so far

3 counts of first degree murder

Craig Stephen Hicks has been charged with three counts of first degree murder in the shooting deaths of Deah Shaddy Barakat, age 23, Yusor Mohammad Barakat, age 21, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, age 19. A local ABC news affiliate has footage of Hicks’ first court appearance, which you can watch here.

We’re still unclear as to why Hicks chose to gun down three people, but there are multiple reports floating around that the shooting was an escalation of an ordinary neighborhood parking dispute.

More from WaPo:

The Chapel Hill Police Department said Wednesday morning that initial indications suggested that the issue stemmed from a parking altercation.

“Our preliminary investigation indicates that the crime was motivated by an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking,” the department said in a statement. “Hicks is cooperating with investigators and more information may be released at a later time.”

[Note: he was not released.]

Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for CAIR, said Wednesday morning he had heard some “unsubstantiated reports” from community members that the victims had previous interactions with Hicks, including a dispute about a parking spot.

CAIR says it…but neighbors also told the police that a parking dispute was part of the problem between Hicks and his victims. Bottom line is, we don’t know yet. Hicks’ appearance in court was extremely brief.

Friends of the three victims have set up a “Our Three Winners” Facebook Memorial dedicated to telling the stories of Deah, Yusor, and Razan.

Meanwhile on Twitter, the #MuslimLivesMatter hashtag has exploded, sparking serious debate (sans any new information) not only about the nature of the crime at hand, but about how people of other religions (or no religion at all) react when Muslims are killed:

Militant atheist vs. three Muslims? I think it’s a fair question to ask:

On Mr. Hicks’s Facebook page, he describes himself as a former auto parts dealer who has studied to be a paralegal, and he appears to be an ardent critic of religion. He expressed support for groups like Atheists for Equality, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation.

Last month, he posted a photo that says, “Praying is pointless, useless, narcissistic, arrogant, and lazy; just like the imaginary god you pray to.”

He also posted a photo of what he said was his .38-caliber, five-shot revolver.

At any rate, it looks like the police officers responsible for the investigation are doing their jobs:

From the New York Times:

The three victims, one man and two women, were Muslims of Arab descent, and photos on Facebook show the two women wearing head scarves, leading to speculation on Twitter and Facebook, much of it with the hashtag #muslimlivesmatter, that the killings might have been a hate crime.

But a statement released by the Chapel Hill police said, “Our preliminary investigation indicates that the crime was motivated by an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking,” adding that the man arrested, Craig Stephen Hicks, was “cooperating with investigators.”

The Chapel Hill police chief, Chris Blue, however, acknowledged the speculation about a possible hate crime. “We understand the concerns about the possibility that this was hate-motivated,” Chief Blue said in a statement, “and we will exhaust every lead to determine if that is the case.”

Durham district attorney Roger Echols wouldn’t speak to reporters about a possible motive, saying that the facts were still under investigation. Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s office serving the area has not yet released a statement regarding the involvement of federal prosecutors, or the possibility of hate crime charges.

Bottom line? We don’t know more than we do know. We’ll keep you posted as the investigation progresses.

Oh, and also, #AllLivesMatter. Pray for this community.


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“Bottom line? We don’t know more than we do know.”


It sounds like Jared Loughner without the easy scapegoat. A terrible tragedy, nevertheless.

Translation….. “We need more time to spin this to make it look like the result of comments made by Sarah Palin.”

JackRussellTerrierist | February 11, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Ibrahim Hooper? He’s the muslim equivalent of Al Sharpton.

I really just cannot wait to know what Ezra Klein thinks about all of this.


ANOTHER of the Collectivists who Collectivists always accuse Conservatives of being.

Sad loss of life.

I wish people would just take out all their anger on a punching bag. Or, at least, they should walk away, walk far away until things cool down and perspective returns.

I don’t know which is worse: having a monster willing to butcher three innocent people, or a media that never fails to take horrific incidents like this and try to whip up a lynch mob in order to advance the progressive cause.

Muslim lives matter. Now if only somebody could convince ISIS of that.

The facts are: this was a guy who snapped and killed three people over a parking dispute. Facts will not be enough to keep this simmering. It’s the ideal story for the cesspool of journalism.

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to gasper. | February 11, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    You mean Jounalisters just make things up?

    Make things up like being shot down in a helicopter in Iraq – when they never where???????

Phillep Harding | February 11, 2015 at 2:06 pm

Arabs make wild accusations and blood thirsty threats when they argue with each other and their conversational space is a matter of inches. From what I’ve read, Arabs regard a look of irritated annoyance and a pulling away as submission, not as a danger sign.

I am surprised that so few are killed in the US each year.

      Phillep Harding in reply to Amy in FL. | February 11, 2015 at 5:01 pm

      Think “culture conflict”. The same thing that, at base, resulted in the death of “Yoshi”, the Japanese exchange student in Louisiana about 12 years ago. (The Wiki article leaves a lot out.)

      In a conflict, the Arab would be inclined to get in his opponents face at a range a Westerner would regard as a threat due to invasion of personal space. The wild accusations and threats, which I have witnessed in a co-workers customer as well as read about, can be pretty upsetting. The co-worker, normally a cast iron lez, was left shaking.

        I’m sorry, but I have trouble believing that those two smiling, educated, well-presented young ladies somehow asked for it.

          Phillep Harding in reply to Amy in FL. | February 11, 2015 at 8:01 pm

          I doubt if they did, according to the rules of the culture they were raised in.

          Thus “Culture conflict”.

          BTW, I knew a very sweet and gentle Eskimo lady (and she was a lady) who got into an argument, and it took four big cops to toss the pint size gal into a cop car.

          Can’t tell until the adrenalin flow maxes out.

Reports coming in that the shooter is a self-described ‘Militant Atheist,’ a devotee of the radical group SPLA, and a rabid Progressive Liberal with a Facebook page filled with Democrat partisan crap. Oh, and he loves the Huffington Post.

Guy last registered Democrat. Liked a bunch of Dem stuff on Facebook. Was really into the atheist thing. Turned himself in after the murders.

I think there’s little doubt he was a lib, but I’m not feeling the ideological thread here. It strikes me as a Class-A, temper-fueled clusterfark ending in a multiple homicide all out of proportion to the issue at hand. Nobody deserved to die then, and nobody deserves to be dead now, except the scumbag who did the killing. CAIR may try to make hay out of this incident, but without the lib media’s help, they won’t get far. I would be shocked if the lib media does much with it, as the potential for recoil is way too high on this one.

Kick Brian Williams off the air and the country turns to crap.

More evidence that we’d be a safer society if we just summarily disarmed all Democrats.

SPLC membership itself should definitely be a disqualifying act when it comes to firearms purchases.

Amirite? 😉

Principled tolerance, not selective exclusion. Pro-choice morality has come back to bite them. It always does.

That said, make life, not abortion.

As is usual, any detail released in the first 72 hours is wrong. Sit back, calm down, and wait.

There may not be much more about motive for quite some time. He’s been assigned a public defender.

Neighbors who have been interviewed say the shooter was always angry about something. They didn’t expect him to shoot anyone, but when they heard about it, they weren’t surprised to hear it was Hicks.

These kids graduated from local high schools as very good students and were good students in college also. Just look at their faces. There’s no good reason for a 46-year-old, atheist or otherwise, to be shooting all three in the head.

One bit of misinformation I have noticed is the reference to the shooting taking place in “Chapel Hill” on the
“Campus” of UNC-CH. Finley Forest Condominiums are located just across the Orange County line in Durham County, NC.

For this reason, the trial should take place where the crime was committed in Durham, not in Chapel Hill.

    tarheelkate in reply to Redneck Law. | February 12, 2015 at 9:09 am

    Hicks was being held in the Durham County jail before being transferred to the state prison in Raleigh for unspecified reasons. So yes, his trial will be in Durham. The area is just east of the UNC campus, a new and fairly upscale apartment/condo development inhabited heavily by UNC grad students, which is why people are talking about it as “Chapel Hill.”

      Henry Hawkins in reply to tarheelkate. | February 12, 2015 at 1:04 pm

      Central Prison in Raleigh has a decent psychiatric unit. He’s probably going to be evaluated there. It is also far more secure than Durham Co jail. Black muslims will be out to score cell block points for caving his skull in if they get a chance.