Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19 were gunned down last night near the campus of UNC Chapel Hill. Sources told local news that the family had been shot execution style.

The alleged shooter is Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, a white, self-identified atheist.

Deah Barakat and Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha married less than two months ago in December. Barakat came to UNC to begin graduate dental studies and worked with an organization that gave dental care to Palestinian children and refugees. Yusor Abu-Salha had planned to enroll in dental school in the fall. Razan Abu-Salha had recently began her studies in Architecture and Environmental Design at North Carolina State University.

A Facebook group named ‘Our Three Winners‘ has been set up in memoriam of the victims. The hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter has gone viral on Twitter since last night.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations released a statement requesting an investigation into the motive of the murders. “Based on the brutal nature of this crime, the past anti-religion statements of the alleged perpetrator, the religious attire of two of the victims, and the rising anti-Muslim rhetoric in American society, we urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to quickly address speculation of a possible bias motive in this case. Our heartfelt condolences go to the families and loved ones of the victims and to the local community,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.


Photo: Deah Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, Razan Abu-Salha/Facebook