CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Police say the shooting deaths of three family members near the University of North Carolina campus was motivated by an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking.
Chapel Hill police said in a statement Wednesday that their preliminary investigation shows the fight over parking sparked the fatal shooting of a man, his wife and her sister — all college students.
Forty-six-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks has been arrested and charged with three counts of first-degree murder. He is expected to make a first court appearance Wednesday morning.
Police say he’s been cooperative.
“Our investigators are exploring what could have motivated Mr. Hicks to commit such a senseless and tragic act,” Chief Chris Blue of the Chapel Hill Police Department told My FOX 8. “We understand the concerns about the possibility that this was hate-motivated and we will exhaust every lead to determine if that is the case. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of these young people who lost their lives so needlessly.”
The victims of Tuesday’s shooting are identified as 23-year-old Deah Shaddy Barakat and 21-year-old Yusor Mohammad, both of Chapel Hill, and 19-year-old Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, of Raleigh.