Parking space is not a justification for homicide.

Regarding the recent Chapel Hill shooting, I’m not entirely satisfied with the depth of information we currently have on the shooter and his possible motivations. I’ll just echo a point that others have made already:

You do realize that a dispute over parking space is nowhere near adequate to explain shooting three people, yes? Clearly, Mr. Hicks was dangerously preoccupied with the topic of who was allowed to park in his neighborhood, and while that preoccupation may provide much of the context for his killing Deah Barakat, Yusor Mohammed and Razan Mohammed Abu-Salha, the preoccupation itself is not one of those things that can happen to anyone. If he was willing to shoot people over parking spaces, that doesn’t exactly make him a sympathetic suspect. We do not want people wearing guns in plain view to come talk to their neighbors about parking issues. We do not want people pulling triggers on their neighbors when there’s nothing more valuable at stake than the question of whose car is parked on the property in question. If the cops and his estranged wife think it helps his case to insist that the shooting was not motivated by Islamophobia, insisting he did it for the parking space is hardly an improvement.

Maybe he didn’t see the victims as his neighbors. Maybe he saw them as intruders and interlopers, and it wasn’t much of a leap from being hostile about parking spaces to putting bullets in their heads. Either way, even if they were using more parking spaces than they should have done, they still had a reasonable expectation of not getting shot.