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An Arrest, But No Motive Announced In Killing Of 3 Muslims In N.C.

Police in Chapel Hill, N.C., have arrested a suspect and charged him with first-degree murder in the shooting of three young Muslims. The shooting occurred Tuesday afternoon; within hours, police said they were talking with a "person of interest" in the case.

From North Carolina Public Radio, Rebecca Martinez reports:

"The victims are Deah Barakat, 23; his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21; and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19. Barakat and Abu-Salha were students."The murders happened in the quiet Finley Forest neighborhood a few miles east of the UNC Chapel Hill Campus. "Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, turned himself over to authorities last night. Police haven't released any information about a motive for the murders."

The case quickly attracted international attention — and sparked suspicions on social media that the victims might have been attacked because of their religion.

On Twitter, #ChapelHillShooting became the top trending hashtag, with many using the tag to criticize American media outlets for what they viewed as a lack of coverage.

In Chapel Hill, student newspaper the Daily Tar Heel reports that Deah Barakat was in his second year at the UNC School of Dentistry, where Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha was planning to start studying in the fall. The paper says Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha was a student at N.C. State University.

According to the Raleigh News Observer, Hicks lived in the same neighborhood as the victims. From the newspaper:

"Barakat, a Syrian-American, majored in business administration and management at NCSU before enrolling at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2013 to pursue his doctorate in dental surgery. "Both he and Abu-Salha advocated for global dental health, providing care and supplies to people in the United States and the Middle East. On Jan. 29, Barakat posted a Facebook photo of a Durham project that gave dental supplies and food to more than 75 homeless people this year."

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