Photo Essay: Vigil for Slain Chapel Hill Muslim Students

This editor's note has been corrected to accurately state the academic affiliations of the slain students.

On February 10, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha was in her apartment in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her husband, Deah Shaddy Barakat, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, when a man came in and shot the three of them, execution-style. The newlywed couple was in their early 20s; Razan Abu-Salha was 19. Barakat was a student at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry, where his wife, Yusor, was recently accepted for admission. Razan Abu-Salha attended North Carolina State University. Neighbor Craig Hicks was subsequently charged with the murders.

Law enforcement officials said that Hicks's actions stemmed from a parking dispute; Barakat's father and many others called it a hate crime motivated by the murderer's contempt for either his targets' Islamic faith, or against Muslims, period.

Family and friends of Barakat and the Abu-Salbas gathered on the university grounds on February 11 for a candlelight vigil to commemorate their lives; they were joined by thousands from among the university and Muslim communities. Jenny Warburg chronicled the outpouring.

--The Editors

 

(Photo / Jenny Warburg)

Thousands fill the courtyard known as the The Pit at University of North Carolina/ Chapel Hill on February 11, 2015, for a vigil commemorating the lives of Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, and Deah Shaddy Barakat.

 

(Photo / Jenny Warburg)

Family members of slain UNC dentistry student Deah Shaddy Barakat: (l-r) Suzanne Barakat (sister), Namee Barakat (father), Layla Barakat (mother), Zubair Jandali (brother-in-law), and Farris Barakat (brother), as they gathered at a vigil for Barakat, his wife, and sister-in-law, on the grounds of University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill on February 11, 2015. The three were killed in Barakat's apartment, allegedly by neighbor Craig Hicks. 

 
 
(Photo / Jenny Warburg)

Friends of slain sisters Yusor and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha spoke at the vigil commemorating their lives, and that of Yusor's husband, Deah Shaddy Barakat, at University of North Carolina/ Chapel Hill on February 11, 2015. A photograph of the three, posing with an unidentified male friend (far left), appears on the screen behind the podium.

 
 
(Photo / Jenny Warburg)

Mourners at the vigil at University of North Carolina/ Chapel Hill on February 11, 2015, commemorating the lives of Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, and Deah Shaddy Barakat.

 
 
(Photo / Jenny Warburg)

Two young women mourners at the vigil at University of North Carolina/ Chapel Hill on February 11, 2015, commemorating the lives of Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, and Deah Shaddy Barakat.

 
 
(Photo / Jenny Warburg)

Mourners at the vigil at University of North Carolina/ Chapel Hill on February 11, 2015, commemorating the lives of Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, and Deah Shaddy Barakat.

 
 
(Photo / Jenny Warburg)

Mourners at vigil in The Pit at University of North Carolina/ Chapel Hill on February 11, 2015, where the lives of Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, and Deah Shaddy Barakat, who were killed in Barakat's apartment, allegedly by neighbor Craig Hicks, who shot each of them in the head.

 

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