Police said they arrested a suspect linked to the shooting of three college students of Palestinian descent in Burlington, Vermont, on Sunday, as the FBI and other law enforcement authorities investigate.
A sign on the University of Vermont campus in Burlington, Vt.
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In a statement, Burlington Police said they detained 48-year-old Jason J. Eaton near the location of the shooting on Sunday afternoon, after a search of his property “gave investigators and prosecutors probable cause to believe” he was the perpetrator.
Eaton was placed under arrest Sunday night and will be arraigned Monday.
Police said two of the victims were in stable condition while the third was being treated for more serious injuries.
The three students, two U.S. citizens and one legal resident, were shot while out on a walk Saturday; the gunman reportedly fled the scene without saying anything, according to police cited by NBC.
The victims were speaking Arabic and wearing keffiyehs—a traditional scarf that has become a symbol of Palestinian solidarity—when they were targeted, Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee said.
According to CNN, the city’s police will hold a press conference Monday on the shooting, while the FBI told NBC News it was investigating the case along with other federal, state and local authorities.
All three victims are 20 years old and have been identified as Brown University student Hisham Awartani, Haverford University student Kinnan Abdel Hamid and Trinity College student Tahseen Ahmed. All three were visiting a relative of one of the victims for Thanksgiving weekend.
In a statement about the shooting, the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee’s (ADC) Executive Director Abed Ayoub said: “It is clear that the hate was a motivating factor in this shooting, and we call on law enforcement to investigate it as such. The surge in anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian sentiment we are experiencing is unprecedented, and this is another example of that hate turning violent.”
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The ADC has called for a federal hate crime investigation into the shooting and urged the FBI to look into the case.
3 Palestinian Students Shot In Vermont, Suspect At Large (Forbes)
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