CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- More than 2,000 people attended a vigil on Wednesday evening at the University of North Carolina for Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salha, who authorities said were fatally shot by a neighbor over a dispute about parking spaces.

Barakat, 23, was a dentistry student at UNC and was married to Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, who planned to join him at the dentistry school in the fall. Razan Abu-Salha, 19, was Yusor Abu-Salha's sister and a first-year student at North Carolina State University.

Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt was in attendance and told the crowd, "I stand here tonight like you, with a broken heart." He also told those in attendance to let the police fully investigate the crime and its potential causes rather than jump to certain conclusions.

"I have questions about why and how this could happen. And I know you do, too," Kleinschmidt said. "And we are going to struggle, we are going to hear thoughts from others who will try to label this experience as one thing or another ... But what I really believe we can hold onto, and what I think will be the greatest legacy of the three lives we lost, would be to remember who we are."

Many people, including the victims' families, believe that the murders occurred because the victims were Muslim.

Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, was charged with three counts of first-degree murder for the killings. Hicks is a self-proclaimed anti-theist.

"If, and it is quite possible, that this was an act based off of evil and a scared ignorant man, do not let ignorance propagate in your life. Do not reply to ignorance with ignorance," Farris Barakat, Deah Barakat's brother, told those in attendance.

Friends and family alike recounted memories and pleaded the crowd not to remember the slain for the heinous crime committed against them, but for the good they brought to the world.

Deah Barakat was one of the primary organizers of Project: Refugee Smiles, which was designed to bring much needed dental supplies to refugees of the Syrian Civil war. Over $180,000 had been raised by Wednesday night, much more than the campaign's $20,000 goal.

Elon University will hold a vigil for the victims on Thursday, February 12, at 5 p.m. in the Numen Lumen Pavilion.