Local News

Chapel Hill neighbors in shock after shooting

Posted May 26, 2012

— "We are in shock and grieve for the loss of a resident," Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt said in a statement issued Saturday.

At the homes of Ali Cherfaoui, who is charged with murder, and Chahnaz Kebaier, who died after a shooting Friday afternoon outside Mary Scroggs Elementary School, neighbors echoed the mayor's sentiment.

Kebaier, 40, was a single mother and a good neighbor, said Julia Whitley. She lived just blocks away from the school.

Ali Cherfaoui Little known about Chapel Hill shooter, victim

"I would hear the kids sometimes," said Whitley, who lived upstairs from Kebaier for about a year. "They just seemed like they were happy, normal kids playing."

According to an online bio, Kebaier was a research associate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 2009. Prior to that she held the same position at NYU Medical Center. 

Cherfaoui's arrest report lists his address at a complex for married UNC students, but police initially said he lived in Carrboro.

Chapel Hill police said Cherfaoui shot Kebaier as the result of "an ongoing domestic dispute," but they declined to elaborate on the relationship between the two.

There are more questions than answers about the incident, which led school officials to lock students inside the school just before dismissal on Friday afternoon. No school staff or students were involved, and police caught Cherfaoui within an hour of the 2 p.m. shooting.

"Our prayers go up for them and the entire Scroggs school family," Kleinschmidt said.


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