CHAPEL HILL — Police charged a Chapel Hill man Wednesday with first-degree murder in the deaths of three family members in a quiet neighborhood near Meadowmont just south of N.C. 54.
Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, is being held in the Durham County Jail on three counts of first-degree murder.
He is accused of shooting Chapel Hill residents Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, and his wife Yusor Mohammad, 21; and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, of Raleigh.
Police officers found the victims dead at the scene, after responding to a report of gunshots on Summerwalk Circle at 5:11 p.m. Tuesday. The neighborhood, adjacent to the Friday Center, is mostly rental apartments and modest condominiums. It rarely appears in reports of crime in Chapel Hill.
A group of seven or eight young people who appeared to be in their 20s arrived in the area about two hours after the shooting. They sat on the curb at the corner of Summerwalk and Springberry Lane near a parked patrol car. One young man who did not identify himself said he thought his brother might have been one of the victms. He had been trying to reach his brother and two others in the Finley Forest subdivision without success.
A woman who is believed to be Barakat’s mother arrived about 7:45 p.m. She was crying, asking officers to at least let them know who was involved. An officer said they did not have that information yet. A police crisis counselor took the mother and the man’s father aside to talk.
The father returned to the group a short time later, walked up to police officers and demanded to know whether his son had been shot.
He tried to walk toward his son’s apartment about two blocks away. A group of officers stepped in front of him and told him not to go there. He tried to go around them, and the officers stepped in front of him again.
Late Tuesday, police were talking with members of the family in the neighborhood’s clubhouse, but they declined to give details of the discussion. – newsobserver.com