CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The father of two of the victims of a triple homicide in Chapel Hill Tuesday tells the Raleigh News and Observer newspaper that his daughters and son-in-law, who were Muslim, were victims of a hate crime.
Dr. Mohammad Abu-Salha told the newspaper that his daughter, who wore a headscarf, had told him that Craig Stephen Hicks, the 46-year-old man charged with the murders, lived next door and that "they were uncomfortable with him, but that they did not know he would go this far."
The paper quotes Abu-Salha as saying his daughter told him, "He hates us for what we are and how we look."
Hicks, 46, has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife, Yusor Mohammad, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19.
Sources told CBS affiliate WRAL that all three victims were shot in the head.
Hicks appeared in court on Wednesday and is being held without bond.
Police have said that Hicks may have targeted his victims because of an ongoing parking dispute, but the local prosecutor told WRAL that investigators were also looking into the possibility that the murders were a hate crime.
WRAL reports that according to 911 calls released Wednesday, callers reported hearing multiple gunshots.
"I heard about eight shots go off in an apartment," one caller said. "About three girls - more than one girl screaming - and then there was nothing. Then I heard about three more shots go off."
Another caller reported hearing five to 10 gunshots.