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FBI Announces 'Parallel' Inquiry into Chapel Hill Shootings

Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer via Associated Press/NY Times
Craig Stephen Hicks in court in Durham Wednesday

The FBI says it's opened a "parallel preliminary inquiry" in connection with the shooting deaths of three young Muslims in Chapel Hill to determine if federal laws were violated.

A statement issued on Thursday said the FBI is continuing to provide assistance to the Chapel Hill Police Department to process evidence related to the shootings.

Police have said they are investigating whether religious or ethnic hatred motivated shooting suspect Craig Stephen Hicks in any way, and federal investigators have said hate crimes haven't been ruled out.

Word from the FBI comes on the day funerals were held for the three shooting victims.

Authorities say 23-year-old Deah Shaddy Barakat, his 21-year-old wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, and her 19-year-old sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, were killed Tuesday in the couple's Chapel Hill apartment.

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