NC Suspect Had Appeared Armed at Victim's Door

Craig Stephen Hicks described as angry, gun-obsessed
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2015 7:57 AM CST

Craig Stephen Hicks, charged with the murder of three young Muslims in Chapel Hill, was known for having arguments with his neighbors—sometimes with his handgun visible. A friend who lived with victim Deah Barakat until Barakat's December wedding says Hicks complained regularly—roughly once a month—that the men were parking in a visitor's space in addition to their assigned spot. "He would come over to the door, knock on the door, and then have a gun on his hip saying, 'You guys need to not park here,'" Imad Ahmad tells the AP. Hicks returned after Barakat and Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha were married, per Ahmad, who says property managers "told us to call the police if the guy came and harassed us again." More details:

  • Hicks was unemployed, studying to be a paralegal, and had a concealed weapons permit. The New York Times adds these details: He had posted an image to Facebook of what he described as his .38-caliber, five-shot revolver; his apartment reportedly butted up against the building's main parking lot, while the victims lived in an area of the complex that was light on parking. "Anytime that I saw him or saw interaction with him or friends or anyone in the parking lot or myself, he was angry," a woman who lives nearby tells the AP.
  • Karen Hicks, who has defended her husband, now says she's divorcing him. She made the announcement through her lawyer and gave no reason for the split. Meanwhile, Hicks' ex-wife, Cynthia Hurley, says Hicks was obsessed with the 1993 movie Falling Down, in which a divorced and unemployed engineer goes on a shooting spree: "He watched it incessantly. He thought it was hilarious. He had no compassion at all." The couple's marriage ended in the late '90s.
  • Mohammad Abu-Salha, father of victims Yusor and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, remains confident the murders were a hate crime. "The media here bombards the American citizen with Islamic, Islamic, Islamic terrorism and makes people here scared of us and hate us and want us out," he says. The US Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina calls the shooting "an isolated incident" that was "not part of a target campaign against Muslims."
  • Funerals for all three victims will be held today at the Islamic Center of Raleigh. Some 2,000 people turned out for a candlelight vigil on the University of North Carolina campus last night, where friends described the young people as kind and selfless, WTVD reports.
(More Chapel Hill stories.)

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