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Vermont College Attacker Faces Attempted Murder Charges in Possible Hate Crime

Attacker of Palestinian college students in Vermont faces attempted murder charges in possible hate crime
The attack on three Palestinian college students in Vermont occurred on November 25 when the young people They were walking down a street, two of them wearing traditional Arab keffiyeh scarves.

Jason J. Eaton, 48, who shot three Palestinian college students on Saturday, Nov. 25 in Burlington, Vermont, faces three counts of attempted second-degree murder, in a case that many see as a clear hate attack against the Palestinian community.

Without resisting, the 20-year-old attacker of the students was arrested this Sunday, November 26, after opening the door to federal agents who were looking for him, telling them that "he had been waiting for them," and later accepting that he had weapons inside. his house and that he wanted a lawyer.

Eaton pleaded not guilty in court on Monday morning, the 27th, however, he was ordered held without bail for the time being.

Jason J. Eaton, 48, shot three Palestinian college students on Saturday, November 25, in Burlington, Vermont. Photo: Burlington, Vermont Police Department.

According to authorities, throughout the day on Sunday, November 26, investigators led by Lt. Michael Beliveau of the Burlington Police Department's Detective Services Bureau conducted a series of probes, interviews and other investigative procedures. investigation in an effort to identify, locate and arrest the suspect believed to have shot three 20-year-old men the night before. 

On Sunday afternoon, at approximately 3:38 p.m., agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), who were canvassing the scene of the shooting, found and detained Jason J. Eaton, 48 years old. 

In a statement, the local police detailed that a judge granted the search warrant for Eaton's residence in the apartment building in front of which the shooting occurred, which was executed at 9:53 p.m., where the evidence collected gave investigators and prosecutors probable cause to believe Eaton carried out the shooting.

The Burlington Police Department continues to investigate the triple shooting that occurred on North Prospect Street. The three young male victims, each of whom are 20 years old, remain under medical care. Two are in stable condition, while one suffered much more serious injuries.

The students attacked are: Kinnan Abdalhamid, Tahseen Ahmed and Hisham Awartani, attacked while walking down a street, two of them wearing traditional Arab keffiyeh scarves.

The preliminary investigation has determined that the three were visiting the home of one of the victims' relatives in Burlington over the Thanksgiving holiday. The three were walking down Prospect Street when they were confronted by a white man with a firearm. The suspect was walking through the area, without speaking, fired at least four shots from the pistol and is believed to have fled on foot. The three victims were hit, two in the thorax and one in the lower extremities.

All three victims are of Palestinian descent. Two are U.S. citizens and one is a legal resident, Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad said in a media conference.

By Monday evening, one of the three students had been released from the hospital. The other two remain in the intensive care unit.

Detectives are conducting a deliberate and methodical investigation. They have recovered ballistics evidence that will be submitted to the federal database and have conducted and are re-conducting neighborhood canvasses and witness interviews. 

“My deepest condolences to the victims and their families,” Police Chief Jon Murad declared at the time. “In this charged moment, no one can look at this incident and not suspect that it may have been a hate crime. And I have already been in contact with federal investigative and prosecution partners to prepare for it if it is proven.

Mayor Miro Weinberger noted that “violence of any kind against anyone in our community is totally unacceptable and we will do everything in our power to find the perpetrator and hold him fully accountable.” 

?The fact that there are indications that this shooting may have been motivated by hate is chilling, and this possibility is being prioritized in the investigation. “The city of Burlington does not tolerate hate crimes and will work tirelessly to bring the shooter to justice,” he stated.

“A month ago, I stood in front of City Hall and said this is not the time to reject or alienate our neighbors. As Burlington Police do their job, I again ask Burlingtonians to stand together, support these victims, their families, and communities with love and kindness. We still don't know why this heinous crime occurred, what we do know is that the outcome is terrible for three young men who were visiting our city to enjoy time with friends and family during a holiday meant to celebrate the community? , he added.

President Joseph Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, also spoke out, condemning all types of violence.

“As we wait for more data, we know this: There is absolutely no place for violence or hate in America. Spot. “No one should have to worry about being shot while going about their daily lives.”

This publication was supported in whole or part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the CaliFornia State Library.

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Pamela Cruz
Pamela Cruz
Editor-in-Chief of Peninsula 360 Press. A communicologist by profession, but a journalist and writer by conviction, with more than 10 years of media experience. Specialized in medical and scientific journalism at Harvard and winner of the International Visitors Leadership Program scholarship from the U.S. government.

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