The three Muslim students shot in the head in North Carolina recently were victims of gun violence in America, Chapel Hill police have said.
Speaking to the media, police spokesman Kyle Williams said the suspect who handed himself in after shooting the students in their home demonstrated “no visible signs of hate”.
“It is premature to call this a hate crime. Even his blood work suggests he snapped over a parking spot,” Williams said.
Family members and the broader US Muslim community have insisted the incident was a result of rampant Islamophobia in the American public sphere.
But authorities say that Americans are more outraged over the inability to access parking easily and that this was a tragedy waiting to happen.
“These Muslims were simply in the wrong house at the wrong time,” Williams said.
Police also ruled out the possibility of the crime being an act of terror.
“There are 99 reasons one can be a terrorist, but parking ain’t one of ’em,” the police spokesman said.
“He is also a Caucasian male, which means he was very passionate about parking.”
– Featured image: By Laitr Keiows via Wikimedia Commons.