by John D. Nuño

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — A San Francisco doctor is calling on police in Chapel Hill, N.C., to investigate the shooting deaths of her brother and his family, who were Muslims, as hate crime.

In a press conference in Raleigh on Wednesday, Suzanne Barakat, a physician at San Francisco General Hospital, said her brother, Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife, Yusor Mohammad, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, were giving and generous.

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Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder in shootings that happened on Tuesday evening in the university town.

“We ask that the authorities investigate these senseless and heinous murders as hate crime,” Barakat said.

Police investigators said they are studying whether the shootings, that may have stemmed from an argument over parking spaces, were racially motivated. The accused and the victims lived at the same complex.

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Barakat, started work at San Francisco General Hospital as a resident physician in June.

Deah Barakat, who had just married Yusor Mohammad six weeks ago, was a second-year dental student at UNC.

Suzanne Barakat said he was well-known for his “all embracing kindness, lightheartedness, dedication to community service, love for basketball and anything Steph Curry,” referring to the Golden State Warrior point guard who once played for Davidson College in North Carolina.

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A San Francisco candlelight vigil in San Francisco will be held on Thursday in memory of the shooting victims from 6 to 7 p.m. in the memorial garden of the Family Health Center at 22nd Street and Potrero Avenue.