Three Muslim students were shot and killed in their home Tuesday night, marking one of the deadliest shootings in North Carolina in years. But in the 24 hours following the shooting, only three of the state’s 15 members of Congress have publicly recognized the tragedy.
The three victims, who ranged in age from 19 to 23, were shot in the head in their Chapel Hill home around 5 p.m. and were all pronounced dead at the scene, according to North Carolina news station WRAL. In the day since the shooting occurred, the father of two of the victims called the shooting a hate crime and Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt said in a statement that the police department is “using all available resources to determine whether hate was a motivating factor.”
Sen. Thom Tillis (R), Rep. Mark Walker (R) and Rep. David Price (D), who represents North Carolina’s fourth district which encompasses Chapel Hill, were the only congressmen from the state to acknowledge the shooting on Twitter. Price also issued a press release on his website.
Shocked & saddened by this appalling violence. We must redouble efforts to bridge the gaps of intolerance that divide us #ChapelHillShooting
— David E. Price (@RepDavidEPrice) February 11, 2015
Susan and I are praying for the families who lost their loved ones in yesterday's Chapel Hill shooting.
— Senator Thom Tillis (@SenThomTillis) February 11, 2015
My heart goes out to #ChapelHill & the young lives taken too soon. I commend local law enforcements swift actions in this deplorable crime
— Rep. Mark Walker (@RepMarkWalker) February 11, 2015
While publicly ignoring the event, Rep. Robert Pittenger (R), Rep. Richard Hudson (R) and Rep. Renee Ellmers (R) were actively encouraging the president to sign the Keystone XL Pipeline bill — despite the president’s declarations that he would veto the legislation — and Rep. George Holding took the time Wednesday to share that he is “dismayed and saddened by the loss of Kayla Mueller,” adding that “ISIS must be defeated.”
When former North Carolina Tar Heels basketball coach Dean Smith died “peacefully” at his North Carolina home on Saturday at age 83, seven of the state’s congressmen paid their respects on Twitter and two issued official statements.