Only 3 North Carolina Congressmen Have Publicly Recognized A Mass Murder In Their Home State

Flowers sit outside the apartment building where three people were killed yesterday afternoon, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, in Chapel Hill N.C. CREDIT: AP PHOTO/MICHAEL BIESECKER
Flowers sit outside the apartment building where three people were killed yesterday afternoon, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, in Chapel Hill N.C. CREDIT: AP PHOTO/MICHAEL BIESECKER

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.”

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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.

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.”

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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.