A gun on his hip

The Huffington Post has some more details on Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad, and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, and on Craig Hicks.

Barakat and Mohammad were newlyweds who helped the homeless and raised funds to help Syrian refugees in Turkey this summer. They met while running the Muslim Student Association at N.C. State before he began pursuing an advanced degree in dentistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mohammad planned to join her husband in dentistry school in the fall.

Abu-Salha was visiting them Tuesday from Raleigh, where she was majoring in design at N.C. State.

She was visiting. If she’d been in Raleigh she’d still be alive.

Imad Ahmad, who lived in the condo where his friends were killed until Barakat and Mohammed were married in December, said Hicks complained about once a month that the two men were parking in a vistor’s space as well as their assigned spot.

“He would come over to the door. Knock on the door and then have a gun on his hip saying ‘you guys need to not park here,'” said Ahmad, a graduate student in chemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill. “He did it again after they got married.”

Both Hicks and his neighbors complained to the property managers, who apparently didn’t intervene. “They told us to call the police if the guy came and harassed us again,” Ahmad said.

“This man was frustrated day in and day out about not being able to park where he wanted to,” said Karen Hicks’ attorney, Robert Maitland.

And then there’s his favorite movie…

Hicks’ ex-wife, Cynthia Hurley, said that before they divorced about 17 years ago, his favorite movie was “Falling Down,” the 1993 Michael Douglas film about a divorced unemployed engineer who goes on a shooting rampage.

“That always freaked me out,” Hurley said. “He watched it incessantly. He thought it was hilarious. He had no compassion at all,” she said.

I’ve always avoided seeing that movie, because the premise revolts me, and this is why. Most people obviously don’t take that kind of inspiration from that kind of movie, but then there are the others…


  1. Holms says

    I don’t see the Islamophobia claim proven yet, nor even particularly likely. There is just too much precedent for neightbours getting into incredibly acrimonious, long term arguments over trivial shit – some of which lead to murders – and as yet no sign of hostility towards Islam or arabic people in particular. The same thing could play out identically with any combination of races without it necessarily being motivated by bigotry.

    That said, some sort of racially motivated rant may turn up and make it all very clear, I’m just cautious about assuming it to be a hate crime unless it is otherwise indicated.

    Also, I have sseen that movie, and it struck me as being saddening. Yes, Douglas’ character lashes out with violence with increasing ease, but it always seemed to come from a place of frustration and despair rather than hate or cruelty. It creeps me out that someone would soncider it a comedy.

  2. Blanche Quizno says

    It’s true that it’s easy to jump to the wrong conclusion. There is a woman who was just sentenced for stalking the couple who won the bidding war for a house she wanted in Carmel Valley, CA – her name is Kathy Rowe, in case you want to look up the case. She did *terrible* things to them, but they were all apparently of the same ethnicity etc. If her targets had been obviously Muslim, it would be easy to jump to the conclusion that anti-Muslim bigotry was in play; if she herself had been Muslim, it would be easy to jump to the conclusion that her activities were terroristic in nature. But neither is evident here (no Muslims involved, apparently), so we have no basis for jumping to a “hate crimes” conclusion. Ms. Rowe simply had her heart set on living in that house, lost her mind when that other couple bought it, and thought up insane ways to punish them for having the house she wanted for herself. People do crazy stuff.

  3. moarscienceplz says

    Falling Down is like Archie Bunker: the people it is mocking think it is cheering them on.

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