The vigil attracted pariticipants from several religious groups.

A hundred Atlantans, primarily from local universities, participated in an interfaith vigil the evening of Feb. 12 to show solidarity with three young Muslims who were killed by a neighbor in Chapel Hill, N.C.

A similar vigil was held in Athens at the University of Georgia on the evening of the 12th, and another was scheduled to be held at Emory University this evening, the 13th. 

Organized student groups of Buddhist, Christian and Hindu faiths attended the vigil at Atlanta’s Centennial Park downtown.

Other organizations represented at the vigil included the Muslim Wellness Foundation, the Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine.

Most of the participants were students from Emory, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Georgia State University that all have campuses near the park.

A heterogeneous mix of student and religious leaders attended ranging from a local imam to a self-proclaimed atheist who heads the Students for Justice in Palestine at Georgia State.

“I have never felt more a part of a community than I do right now and during moments like these,” said Robert Andrews, president of the Students for Justice in Palestine, during his formal comments.

Representatives from the different groups voiced their concern about the killings being a religious hate crime and spoke of their common values supporting love and unity.

Deah Barakat, 23, a second-year student at the University of North Carolina’s School of Dentistry; his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21 and Mrs. Barakat’s 19-year-old sister, Razan Mohammed Abu-Salha, were shot in the head at their condominium complex Feb. 10.

Originally from Syria, the Barakat family moved to the U.S. where Deah Barakat was born. His wife was born in Jordan and came to the U.S. with her family as a young girl.

Mr. and Mrs. Barakat met helping to run the Muslim Student Association at North Carolina State in Raleigh where they were originally enrolled.

Mr. Barakat moved to Chapel Hill to study dentistry at UNC. His wife was planning to enroll in the UNC dental school in the fall while her sister was continuing her studies at N.C. State and was visiting from Raleigh when they were executed.

Mr. and Mrs. Barakat were married on Dec. 27.

According to news reports, the newlyweds had planned to travel to Rihaniya, Turkey, this summer to provide free dental care for Syrian refugee schoolchildren. Originally seeking $20,000 through a crowd funding campaign, the Associated Press has reported that since their deaths more than $250,000 had been raised by Feb. 12.

Craig Stephen Hicks, the alleged killer, turned himself into local authorities and was jailed on first degree murder charges. As outrage at the killings spread across the globe, an undergoing investigation is to determine if the killings were religiously motivated.