Autopsy reports released by the N.C. Medical Examiners office on Tuesday and Wednesday offer a more detailed glimpse at the gunshot wounds that killed Deah Shaddy Barakat, his wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, and her sister Razan Abu-Salha.
The three Muslim students were killed in Chapel Hill in February inside a Finley Forest condominium on the eastern side of the college town. Craig Hicks, the neighbor of Barakat, 23, a UNC-Chapel Hill dental school student with ambitious plans, is in prison awaiting trial on murder accusations. Hicks, 43, faces the possibility of the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder.
The medical examiner reports stated that Barakat answered the door at the Chapel Hill condominium owned by his father and a confrontation ensued.
Then, according to the autopsy report, Barakat, 23, a UNC-Chapel Hill dental school student with ambitious plans, was shot multiple times with two penetrating gunshot wounds in the head.
He also had wounds in the chest and left arm with wounds on both hands that indicated he might have held them up to try to protect himself during the spray of gunfire that left four bullets inside his body.
Razan, 19 and a design student at N.C. State University, was shot in the back of her head by a handgun that produced contact wounds, according to the reports.
Her sister, Yusor, a recent N.C. State graduate preparing to enroll in UNC-CH dental school, also was shot in the head. The the bullet entered the left side of her head and was within “contact range,” according to the report. She also was shot in the hip region, according to the medical examiner’s report, but that wound was not cited as the cause of death.
The case has ignited questions about whether religious bias was the motivating factor for the killings.
The autopsy reports released on Tuesday and Wednesday match details that have been released in search warrant documents and court hearings.