On Tuesday evening, three people were shot to death near the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
University officials identified the victims as Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; his wife, Yusor Mohammad, 21; and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19.
A friend of Barakat — who also knew his wife and her sister — told BuzzFeed News that the three victims were Muslim. He and Barakat attended the same mosque, he added.
Barakat fundraised for Syrian Dental Relief with Ali Heydary, a fellow dentistry student.
“In Syria, brave dentists and assistants risk their lives to provide their services, despite deliberate attacks on their clinics,” the pair wrote. “These incredible individuals volunteer their time, but lack basic necessities to continue their important work.”
He recently shared a video on Facebook of Iranian-American writer Reza Aslan criticising the media for “generalisation and bigotry when reporting on Muslims.” In another post, he shared a Media Matters video he described as “the perfect explanation of why ISIS isn’t Islam.”
Barakat was an avid Twitter user who regularly tweeted about football and basketball. In January, he tweeted the following:
The pair got engaged in February 2013. Friends described them as a “beautiful couple.”
Abu-Salha graduated from Athens Drive High School in 2011.
She had planned to begin her dental studies at the School of Dentistry at the University of North Carolina.
She graduated from Athens Drive High School in 2013.
The page description says it is “intended to facilitate communication and will hopefully carry on their legacy of service, great character and joy for life.”
Deah, Yusor, and Razan are described as people who “set an example in life and in death.”