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Chapel Hill shooting ignites anger and sadness under #MuslimLivesMatter

"Hate will not prevail."


Dell Cameron


Posted on Feb 11, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 1:47 pm CDT

The tragic killing of three Muslim-American college students in Chapel Hill, N.C., led to a national trend early Wednesday as users flooded Twitter with messages under the hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter.

Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, were killed at a condominium complex near the University of North Carolina campus. All three victims were shot in the head, sources said.

Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, is being charged with first-degree murder in connection with the killing of the three students. Following the shooting, Hicks turned himself into the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office in Pittsboro, according to police.

While the preliminary investigation into the shooting found that it was likely the tragic end to an “ongoing neighbor dispute over parking,” police have not ruled out the “possibility” that the murders were “hate-motivated,” Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue said in a statement.

The shooting struck a chord online. Twitter users were quick to express grief and anger over the senseless murders of three young students. Photographs of the victims smiling, attending university football games, and clutching one another in graduation caps overwhelmed the #MuslimLivesMatter hashtag.

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A few users blamed the media directly, accusing news anchors of stoking fear and hatred towards Muslims.

“Congratulations @FoxNews 4 cultivating hatred & being responsible 4 #ChapelHillShooting,” Palestinian activist Omar Ghraieb wrote.

But mostly, users sought to honor the three victims, two of whom had recently gotten married.

Photo via Our Three Winners/Facebook

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*First Published: Feb 11, 2015, 2:16 pm CST