North Carolina police chief apologizes for saying killing of 3 Muslim students was over a parking dispute
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Chris Blue, the chief of the Chapel Hill, N.C., police department, apologized Wednesday for saying the killing of three Muslim college students in 2015 was over a parking dispute. 

“What we all know now and what I wish we had said four years ago is that the murders of Deah, Yusor, and Razan were about more than simply a parking dispute. The man who committed these murders undoubtedly did so with a hateful heart, and the murders represented the taking of three promising lives by someone who clearly chose not to see the humanity and the goodness in them,” Blue said in a statement

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“To the Abu-Salha and Barakat families, we extend our sincere regret that any part of our message all those years ago added to the pain you experienced through the loss of Our Three Winners. And, to the Muslim members of our community, know that you are heard, seen, and valued.” 

Craig Stephen Hicks, 50, pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder Wednesday for the killing of Deah Barakat, 23, his wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19. 

Barakat was a dentistry student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Yusor Abu-Salha had been accepted to the same dental school, and Razan Abu-Salha was a student at North Carolina State University. 

“Three beautiful young Americans were brutally murdered and there is no question in our minds that this tragedy was born of bigotry and hate,” Mohammad Abu-Salha, whose daughters were killed, said during a congressional hearing on hate crimes in April.