3 Muslim Students Shot To Death in North Carolina

Updated: February 11, 2015, 8:07 AM

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Three people were shot to death at a quiet condominium complex near the University of North Carolina, and the suspect was scheduled for a court appearance Wednesday — though police had not yet released a motive or given details of the crime.

Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, was arrested and has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder, Chapel Hill police told local news outlets. He is being held at the Durham County Jail and was expected to make a first court appearance Wednesday morning.

About 5:15 a.m. Tuesday, police responded to a report of gunshots. They found three people who were pronounced dead at the scene. They were identified as Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, of Chapel Hill; Yusor Mohammad, 21, of Chapel Hill; and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, of Raleigh.

Barakat was a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s School of Dentistry while the Mohammad sisters were students at North Carolina State University, according to the Raleigh News & Observer.

The neighborhood where the victims were found consists mostly of rental apartments and condominiums.

“It’s a very quiet community,” resident Bethany Boring told WRAL-TV. “It’s a lot of graduate and professional students. You know, professional families.”

Police have not released a motive and said the investigation is continuing. A police spokesman did not immediately return telephone messages Wednesday morning.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Additional reporting by Catherine Thompson.

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