Three Muslims students were shot and killed by a lone gunman during a dispute over a parking spot at the residential complex of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill on Tuesday.
The dead students are identified as 2nd year dentistry student Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his 21-year-old wife, Yusor Mohammad, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, police said.
Chapel Hill police held a news conference on Tuesday to announce the gunman is in police custody.
Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, was arrested and charged with murder after he turned himself in following the shooting which took place at 5:15 p.m. Hicks is expected to make his first court appearance on Wednesday in Chapel Hill.
The Muslim community in Chapel Hill decried the lack of news coverage by the mainstream media.
The hashtag #ChapelHillShooting went viral on Twitter.com to bring attention to the lack of news coverage of the shootings.
Muslims wondered why the religious identity of the gunman was not released by the media.
Chapel Hill police stressed that the investigation into the motive behind the shootings is ongoing.
"We understand the concerns about the possibility that this was hate-motivated and we will exhaust every lead to determine if that is the case," said Police Chief Chris Blue in a statement released to the media on Tuesday.