5K in Raleigh honors slain Chapel Hill student

RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) -- Nearly 200 pairs of feet carried committed runners through a Saturday 5K in Raleigh to honor Razan Abu-Salha, one of three students shot to death in Chapel Hill.

Nineteen-year-old Razan, her sister Yusor, 21, and her brother-in-law Deah Barakat were killed at a Chapel Hill apartment complex in 2015.


Friends of Razan worked with North Carolina State University's student government to honor her with a run.

"Makes the most sense, you know? She loved it, it was her passion, and it was something that she really enjoyed doing," explained race organizer, and Razan's best friend, Yasmine Inaya. "So it seemed fitting that we do this for her."

Runner Asiyah Ahmed said the beautiful April morning reminded her of her friend.

"She was like a flower. She was always kind and always sweet," Asiyah shared. "And honestly, I've never heard anything bad come out of her mouth, or anything bad ever heard about her, herself."

Families of the victims believe Craig Hicks, the Chapel Hill neighbor charged with the murder, targeted the three Muslim students because of their faith.

On this day, though, the focus was on the run.

"It was always good things, and that just represents how good a person she was and how well she did in this life," Asiyah said.

Runner Hussein Ahmed said crossing the finish line was a testament to Razan's determination.

"That's evident in her studies, her outside activities, and her hobbies," Hussein said. "She was really 100 percent giving to everything."

Organizers asked runners to donate to the Our Three Winners Foundation, which was created for funding projects that Razan, Deah, and Yusor were passionate about.

"Dental relief work that they had started to do, and a lot of national, international efforts that they were passionate about," said Doha Hindi, another race organizer.

Yasmine said she and Razan trained for a marathon together before Razan's death. On Saturday, Yasmine wore a reminder of their friendship.

"The logo on my shirt was Razan's sketch," Yasmine shared. "She was just the most creative person that I know."

Organizers hope to make this run an annual event.

"I was talking to one of my friends and I was like, 'What would she do if she was right here, and saw all of these people running for her?'" Asiyah said. "And then, we were on the verge of tears."

Organizers hope those who couldn't participate in the run will donate to the Our Three Winners Foundation.


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