May 06, 2015 02:38 PM EDT
Craig Hicks Shot 3 Muslim NC Students in Head, Autopsy Report Confirms
A newly released autopsy report revealed two of three Muslim college students in Chapel Hill, N.C. were killed from gunshot wounds to the head.
According to the Charlotte Observer, the N.C. Medical Examiner's office determined Deah Barakat, a 23-year-old dentistry student at the University of North Carolina (UNC), suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his chest, arms, hands and head. Craig Hicks apparently opened fire on Barakat in the latter's doorway.
Yusor Abu-Salha, Barakat's 21-year-old wife and an incoming dentistry student at UNC, was shot in the head. Razan Abu-Salha, Yusor's 19-year-old sister and undergraduate at N.C. State University, was shot in the back of the head. Both were also shot multiple times afterward.
The three students were living in the same apartment complex as Hicks, who faces the death penalty if convicted of the triple-homicide. However, police were not able to determine if Hicks was mentally unstable or committed the crime out of hate.
Multiple reports suggest Hicks self-enforced the apartments' parking rules and often carried his pistol on his hip when confronting people he found to be in violation. His wife, who is divorcing him, told CNN in Feb. the shooting "had nothing to do with religion or the victims' faith." Through her attorney, she indicated Hicks was in need of mental health care services.
But the two girls' father has maintained all along Hicks committed a hate crime because of his daughters and son-in-law's Muslim faith. Mohammad Abu-Salha told CNN Hicks never had a problem with Barakat until his daughters moved in to the apartment, as they would wear headdresses that highlighted their faith.
"My daughter, Yusor, honest to God, told us on more than two occasions that this man came knocking at the door and fighting about everything with a gun on his belt, more than twice," he said. "She told us, 'Daddy, I think he hates us for who we are and how we look.'"
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