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Suspect Arrested in Nov. 25 Shooting of Three Palestinian College Students in Vermont

A suspect has been arrested in the shooting of three 20-year-old Palestinian college students in Burlington, Vermont, which took place Nov. 25, CNN reported.Council On American Islamic RelationsCouncil On American-Islamic Relations

Jason J. Eaton, 48, was arrested Nov. 26 near the scene of the attack, according to police. Eaton lives in an apartment building in front of the scene and a search of his home found evidence that was “probable cause to believe that Mr. Eaton perpetrated the shooting.”

During a walk Saturday night, the three students were confronted and shot “without speaking” with a handgun. Two were shot in the torso and another in their lower extremities – two were in stable condition but the third faced more serious injuries, according to police.

The three victims are Hisham Awartani from Brown University; Kinnan Abdalhamid from Haverford College; and Tahseen Ahmad from Trinity College, according to the Institute for Middle East Understanding, speaking on behalf of the victims’ families.

A police statement described the case as three incidents of aggravated assault. Whether the act was a hate crime is still being investigated. The attack comes amid heightened tensions and hate crimes nationally over the Israel-Hamas conflict, which has resulted in a death toll in the thousands.

Attorney Abed Ayoub said he believed part of the reason the students were targeted was because two of them were wearing keffiyehs, traditional Palestinian scarves.

“The suspect walked up to them and shot them. They weren’t robbed, they weren’t mugged,” Ayoub said.

Eaton is expected to be arraigned in court at 10:30 a.m. Monday, according to Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah F. George. Police will also hold a news conference then.

Muslim civil rights group Council on American-Islamic Relations is offering $10,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction.


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