Suspect in Shooting of 3 Students Had 13 Guns, Stash of Ammo; Obama Condemns Killings
Search warrants show the suspect in the shooting deaths of three Muslim college students in North Carolina had a stash of a dozen firearms in the home he shared with his wife, along with a large cache of ammunition.
Records filed in Durham County Superior Court on Friday list items recovered by police from the Chapel Hill condominium of Craig Stephen Hicks, the 46-year-old charged with three counts of murder.
The warrants show four handguns recovered from the Hicks home, in addition to a pistol the suspect had with him when arrested. The warrants also list two shotguns and six rifles, including a military-style AR-15 carbine. Police also recovered numerous loaded magazines and cases of ammunition.
Eight spent shell-casings were found in the neighboring apartment of the young couple killed.
President Barack Obama has made his first comments about the killings, saying no one in America should ever be targeted "because of who they are, what they look like or how they worship."
Obama says in a statement that the FBI will determine whether federal laws were violated in what he calls "the brutal and outrageous murders."
Killed were 23-year-old Deah Shaddy Barakat; his 21-year-old wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha; and her sister, 19-year-old Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha.
Police say the three were killed Tuesday — allegedly by their neighbor — in a long-running dispute over parking spaces. But some have questioned whether the violence was connected to their Muslim faith.
The FBI inquiry is running parallel to the local police homicide investigation.
The victims' families are demanding a hate-crime investigation.
The leader of the world's largest bloc of Muslim countries says the slaying has raised international concerns about "rising anti-Muslim sentiments and Islamophobic acts" in the United States.
According to a press release Saturday from the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Secretary General Iyad Madani calls on the U.S. government to take more steps to protect against "stereotyping, discrimination and profiling." Madani welcomed the FBI's investigation into the case and praised President Barack Obama for comments condemning the targeting of people for how they worship.
Police are investigating whether the killings were a hate crime, as the victims' family members contend. The OIC release says Madani thanks the American people for "rejecting the murder which bear the symptoms of a hate crime."