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Man Arrested in Vermont Shooting of Palestinian Men

Police arrested a suspect in the shooting of three young men of Palestinian descent who were attending a Thanksgiving holiday gathering near the University of Vermont campus Saturday evening, Scripps News reports. Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested Jason Eaton, 48, while conducting a search of the shooting area in Burlington on Sunday, the Burlington Police Department said. Authorities collected evidence during a search of Eaton's apartment in a building in front of the shooting location. The attack that injured the three men may have been a hate crime, authorities said. Two of the men were in stable condition and the other suffered "much more serious injuries," said Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad. The three, all age 20, were walking during a visit to the home of one of the victim's relatives when they were confronted by a white man with a handgun.


"Without speaking, he discharged at least four rounds from the pistol and is believed to have fled," Murad said. "All three victims were struck, two in their torsos and one in the lower extremities." Two of the victims are U.S. citizens and the third is a legal resident. Two of the men were wearing the black-and-white Palestinian keffiyeh scarves. Murad, who expressed sympathies for the victims and their families, said there is no additional information to suggest a motive. "In this charged moment, no one can look at this incident and not suspect that it may have been a hate-motivated crime. And I have already been in touch with federal investigatory and prosecutorial partners to prepare for that if it's proven," he said. "The fact is that we don't yet know as much as we want to right now," Murad added. "But I urge the public to avoid making conclusions based on statements from uninvolved parties who know even less."

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