Vermont man charged in shooting of Palestinian students

Jason J. Eaton, 48, has been charged with attempted murder for shooting three Palestinian descent college students in Burlington, Vermont.

Publication: 28.11.2023 - 11:14
Vermont man charged in shooting of Palestinian students
Abone Ol google-news

Eaton pleaded not guilty and remains in custody without bond. The incident, which occurred near the University of Vermont and involved victims Hisham Awartani, Tahseen Aliahmad, and Kinnan Abdalhamid, is being investigated as a suspected hate crime. The students, visiting Burlington for Thanksgiving, were shot while wearing Palestinian keffiyeh scarves and speaking a mix of English and Arabic.

The shooting prompted a manhunt involving local, state, and federal agencies, including the FBI and ATF. Eaton was arrested after an ATF agent approached his apartment during neighborhood canvassing. A search of Eaton's apartment revealed a handgun, ammunition, a rifle, and two shotguns. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.

State's Attorney Sarah Fair George emphasized the hateful nature of the act, though evidence for a hate crime enhancement is not yet confirmed. The incident adds to a recent rise in anti-Islamic, anti-Arab, and antisemitic incidents in the U.S. Police confirmed Eaton legally acquired the gun used in the shooting.

The White House and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland expressed their concern, with Garland stating that no one in America should live in fear of lethal violence. The victims, all of Palestinian descent and graduates of the Ramallah Friends School, are students at various U.S. colleges.

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