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Suspect pleads not guilty in shooting of three Palestinian college students in Burlington, Vermont

No charges have were listed as of early Monday morning, and Eaton is expected to be arraigned in court before noon.

Published: November 27, 2023 8:26am

Updated: November 27, 2023 11:13am

The man suspected of shooting three Palestinian college students in Burlington, Vermont, pleaded not guilty on Monday and will be held without bond.

The suspect, Jason J. Eaton, 48, was arrested Sunday afternoon near the scene of the attack the previous night, according to the Burlington Police Department.

The shooting victims have been identified as Hisham Awartani, a student at Brown University in Rhode Island; Kinnan Abdalhamid, a student at Haverford College in Pennsylvania; and Tahseen Ahmad, a student at Trinity College in Connecticut, according to CNN, based on information from the Institute for Middle East Understanding, which provided statements on behalf of the victims’ families. All of them are 20 years old. 

Investigators say Eaton lives in an apartment building in front of the shooting scene and that evidence in his unit gave them "probable cause to believe that Mr. Eaton perpetrated the shooting.”

After Eaton pleaded not guilty at his arraignment hearing Monday morning, the judge ordered him to be held without bond.

The students were walking along the street Saturday night when they were confronted by a man with a handgun, who opened fire, according to the police department.

Two of the students were in stable condition over the weekend but the third received “much more serious injuries,” police said. Two were reportedly shot in the torso and another in the lower extremities.

They reportedly were in Burlington to visit Awartani’s grandmother for the Thanksgiving holiday and were going on a walk before dinner when they were shot.

The men attended school together at the Ramallah Friends School, a Quaker-run private nonprofit school in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and have been friends since first grade.

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