The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday October 27th

Jury indicts Chapel Hill shooter for murder

Hicks, 46, has been charged with killing Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21; and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, on the afternoon of Feb. 10 in Chapel Hill’s Finley Forest Condominiums.

Hicks kept at least 13 assorted guns — three of them fully loaded — in his apartment at 270 Summerwalk Circle in Chapel Hill, according to an inventory of items seized by police while searching his residence.

According to the Chapel Hill police search warrant for Hicks’ apartment, Hicks turned himself in to the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office about an hour after officers were dispatched to the condominiums at 270 and 272 Summerwalk Circle in Chapel Hill.

Officers were directed to apartment 272 by a female witness when they arrived at the scene, the warrant states. Upon arriving at the apartment, the warrant states that officers found a male subject, unresponsive, near the entrance and two female subjects wearing Muslim headdresses, also unresponsive, in the kitchen area of the apartment.

A witness at the scene told officers he noticed a man matching Hicks’ description leaving the apartment building shortly after he heard several shots fired, the warrant states.

“He noticed a white male, approximately in his mid-forties, wearing a beard and with a balding spot on the top of his head, wearing a gold Carhart coat, walking fast from the back of the apartment building,” the warrant states.

The warrant also states the witness saw the man leave the scene in a gold car. Officers later searched Hicks’ gold 2000 Nissan Sentra, the vehicle he drove to turn himself in.

According to the inventory of items seized after officers searched Hicks’ apartment, the residence contained several rifles, handguns and shotguns, as well as multiple boxes of ammunition in a variety of sizes.

Police also gained access to Hicks’ Facebook page.

“A review of his page revealed images of a firearm and various images showing his affiliation with atheism,” the warrant states.

Hicks’ Facebook cover photo depicts in large red letters the word “anti-theism,” defined in the image as “the conscientious objection to religion.”

The image states, “Of course I want religion to go away. I don’t deny you your right to believe whatever you’d like; but I have the right to point out it’s ignorant and dangerous for as long as your baseless superstitions keep killing people.”

Officers also searched the apartment of Barakat and Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, where they found eight shell casings and one bullet, according to an inventory of items seized.

Robert Hurley, capital defender for the state of North Carolina, said the state has not announced whether it will pursue the death penalty.

“They may or may not,” Hurley said.

Hicks’ case was appointed to Assistant Capital Defender Stephen Freedman, who declined to comment for this article.


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