The Chapel Hill Police Department said Wednesday morning that initial indications suggested that the issue stemmed from an argument over parking.“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.”But all three victims were Muslim and after the three victims were identified in an alert from UNC Chapel Hill as husband and wife Deah Barakat, 23, and Yusor Mohammad, 21, and Mohammad’s sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, speculation arose that the killing might be related to their religion. The news sparked outrage and a viral Twitter hashtag, #MuslimLivesMatter, reflecting users belief that the crime was religiously motivated and frustration with what they saw as the media’s failure to report the incident.
The victims were described as well-liked in their community. Barakat, a dental student at UNC, was a volunteer for the Miswak Foundation, which provides dental care in impoverished countries. His most recent Facebook post showed him handing out dental supplies to homeless people in downtown Durham.
Some tweets about it so far -- there have been and will be many today...