Wife of Chapel Hill suspect: Shootings 'had nothing to do with religion'
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The wife of the man charged in the shooting of three young Muslims in Chapel Hill, N.C., said on Wednesday that she didn't believe the killings were because of their religion.

"It is my absolute belief that this incident had nothing to do with religion or the victims' faith but, in fact, was related to the longstanding parking disputes my husband had with the neighbors," said Karen Hicks, wife of suspect Craig Hicks, at a news conference, according to WRAL.


Her lawyer said it was a case of Hicks "having been frustrated day in and day out, and unfortunately, these victims were there at the wrong time at the wrong place."

Police have charged Craig Hicks with shooting and killing Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; his wife, Yusor Mohammad Barakat, 21; and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19. Authorities said in a statement that a "preliminary investigation" indicated that the attack "was motivated by an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking."

The father of two of the victims though has disputed that explanation.

Mohammad Abu-Salha called the slayings a "hate crime" in an interview Wednesday with the Charlotte Observer.

The shootings have drawn attention nationally, with many calling on police to investigate whether the killings were motivated by bias.

Craig Hicks reportedly posted anti-religion messages to social media, leading some to speculate that he was motivated by animosity toward Muslims.