Families urged authorities to treat shooting as hate crime
Nov.27: Authorities have apprehended a suspect in the shooting of three Palestinian students in the US state of Vermont, reports Anadolu Agency. The three students who were shot Saturday evening have been identified as Hisham Awartani, a student at Brown University; Kinnan Abdalhamid, a student at Haverford College; and Tahseen Ahmad, a student at Trinity College. All are 20 years old.
The Burlington Police Department identified the suspect as Jason Eaton, 48, who was taken into custody Sunday afternoon. Eaton was arrested at his residence in an apartment building in front of where the shooting took place Saturday night, the department said in a statement.
A search of Eaton’s apartment produced evidence that “gave investigators and prosecutors probable cause to believe that Mr. Eaton perpetrated the shooting,” authorities said. Federal agents assisted in the investigation. Eaton is expected to be arraigned later Monday morning. Charges have yet to be announced, but officials are expected to hold a press conference to discuss the case later in the day.
The students were speaking Arabic, and were wearing keffiyehs when they were shot, according to Abed Ayoub, the executive director of the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee. The keffiyeh is a scarf worn in many parts of the Arab world. It has grown in international prominence as a symbol of the Palestinian national movement.
Two of the students were placed in the intensive care unit at a local hospital, with one of them listed as critical, Ayoub said on X. The third student was to be released Sunday. It is unclear if their conditions have changed since Ayoub’s Sunday post on X.
A joint statement from the families urged police to treat the shooting as a hate crime.
“We will not be comfortable until the shooter is brought to justice. We need to ensure that our children are protected, and this heinous crime is not repeated. No family should ever have to endure this pain and agony,” the families said.
“Our children are dedicated students who deserve to be able to focus on their studies and building their futures,” they added.