DURHAM, NC – FEBRUARY 11: Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, enters the Durham Countycourtroom for his first appearance in the shooting deaths of three University of North Carolina students in Durham, North Carolina on February 11, 2015. . Hicks has been charged with three counts of first degree murder with no bond. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)
The suspect who gunned down a young newlywed Muslim couple and the wife’s sister was indicted on murder charges on Monday, according to NBCNews.com.
Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, was indicted on three counts of murder and one count of discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling.
The three victims have been identified as Deah Barakat, 23, a second-year dentistry student at the University of North Carolina; his wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, who planned to start at the dentistry school this fall; and her sister Razan Abu-Salha, 19, a student at North Carolina State University.
Local police have said that the primary motive in the killings was a longstanding dispute over a parking space, but the father of the women has labeled the murders as “hate crime.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations have been very vocal in calling on police to address “speculation” that bias may have been a motive, especially given certain rants that have come out on Hicks’ Facebook page, many of them anti-religion.
The FBI also announced its own inquiry into the case late last week.