During their Wednesday night coverage of a fatal shooting of three Muslim students at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC, all three broadcast evening news shows — ABC’s “World News Tonight,” NBC’s “Nightly News” and CBS’s “Evening News” — suggested the shooting was possibly a “hate crime.”
In ABC’s coverage, anchor David Muir raised the possibility.
“The FBI is now joining the investigation in Chapel Hill, NC tonight, as authorities ask, was it a hate crime?” Muir asked. “Three young family members, all Muslim, gunned down in a quiet neighborhood near the iconic campus of UNC. There was early word it began after a dispute over a parking space, but investigators now believe it could have been something more.”
ABC’s correspondent on the scene in Chapel Hill, Tom Llamas, did however allude to to the alleged shooter Craig Hicks online activities, including his disdain for religion.
During CBS “Evening News” coverage of the incident, CBS correspondent Vicente Arenas also discussed the possibility of it being a “hate crime,” referring to the FBI’s involvement.
“Investigators have said they have not ruled out the possibility of a hate crime and the FBI has been called in,” Arenas said.
As for NBC’s “Nightly News,” fill-in anchor Lester Holt noted the “hate crime” label had been suggested by the family of the victims.
“In matters closer to home, a shocking triple murder in the college town of Chapel Hill, NC, is being called a ‘hate crime’ by the victims’ family,” Holt said. “All three victims were Muslim. But authorities don’t believe that was the reason they were gunned down.”
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