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Shooting incident near University of Vermont injures three Palestinian students; Suspect apprehended

Three Palestinian students were shot near the University of Vermont campus in Burlington, US.

A 48-year-old suspect was apprehended as authorities probe a potential hate-driven motive.



A shocking incident unfolded on Saturday night as three Palestinian students, enrolled in U.S. universities, were shot near the University of Vermont campus in Burlington.

As of Sunday (26 Nov), the victims, identified as Hisham Awartani, who is studying at Brown University in Rhode Island, Kinnan Abdel Hamid from Haverford College in Pennsylvania, and Tahseen Ahmed, who is studying at Trinity College in Connecticut, are still hospitalized with varying degrees of injuries sustained in the attack.

Ramallah Friends School, the alma mater of the victims, confirmed the shooting in a Facebook post on Sunday (26 Nov), revealing that the students were shot in proximity to the University of Vermont campus.

The three survivors, though injured, are expected to recover, with Hisham Awartani shot in the back, Tahseen Ahmed in the chest, and Kinnan Abdel Hamid sustaining minor injuries.

The Burlington Police, responding to reports of gunfire around 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, discovered two wounded individuals at one location near the campus, and a third victim not far away.

While the first two victims were treated at the scene before being taken to the University of Vermont Medical Center, the third victim was transported to the same hospital.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has called on U.S. authorities to investigate the incident, noting that the students spoke Arabic and wore traditional Palestinian keffiyehs.

Civil rights groups and the families of the victims are drawing attention to the possibility of bias in the shooting. Attorney Abed Ayoub, representing the victims’ families, described the incident as a “targeted shooting and a targeted crime” in an interview with CNN. Ayoub suggested that bias may have played a role, especially since two of the victims were wearing keffiyehs.

In a joint statement, the families of the victims urged law enforcement to treat the attack as a hate crime, emphasizing their discomfort and the need for justice.

US Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont described the shootings as “shocking and deeply upsetting” in a post on X, @SenSanders. “Hate has no place here, or anywhere. I look forward to a full investigation,” he wrote.

Husam Zomlot, the Palestinian ambassador to the United Kingdom, posted on X about the incident, naming the students and identifying them as “three young Palestinian men.” “The hate crimes against Palestinians must stop. Palestinians everywhere need protection,” Zomlot wrote on his acaount on X, @hzomlot.

(Photo: X Platform/@hzomlot)


The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee released a statement, asserting their belief that the shooting occurred because the victims were Arab.

48-year-old suspect arrested on Sunday

In a significant development, the Burlington Police Department announced on Sunday (26 Nov) afternoon the arrest of a suspect, Jason J. Eaton, 48, in connection with the shooting. Eaton was taken into custody near the scene of the attack.

Authorities revealed that Eaton resides in an apartment building in front of the shooting scene, and a search of his home yielded evidence leading investigators to believe he perpetrated the shooting.

Although specific charges have not been detailed, Eaton is expected to be arraigned in court on Monday.

Law enforcement, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI, conducted a thorough investigation, with agents encountering Eaton during canvassing. A subsequent search of Eaton’s residence provided additional evidence linking him to the shooting.

While investigators have yet to disclose the details of the evidence against Eaton, they have been conducting witness interviews, revisiting the crime scene, and analyzing ballistic evidence.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger expressed concern about the possibility of a hate motive, with authorities prioritizing this angle in their investigation.

The FBI also assisted in the investigation and provided resources including victim services and computer and cell phone analysis, police said.

Before police announced the arrest of a suspect, Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger said investigators were considering whether the attack may have been motivated by hate.

“That there is an indication this shooting could have been motivated by hate is chilling, and this possibility is being prioritized in the investigation,” Weinberger said in a statement.

This incident follows a series of heightened tensions and hate crimes in the U.S. since the deadly events in Israel and Gaza in early October.

The shooting underscores the urgency of addressing hate crimes and ensuring the safety of all communities. Authorities are expected to provide further updates during a news conference on Monday.

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The Zionists have successfully implemented their plan to annihilate all Palestinians on the globe?