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Man charged with shooting two Palestinian Americans and a Palestinian to stay in prison until trial

A photo of a man in an orange jumpsuit on a screen behind a person in the foreground.
Glenn Russell
Jason Eaton appears by video in Chittenden Superior criminal court in Burlington on Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. Prosecutors and Eaton's attorneys agreed this week that Eaton would remain in prison pending trial. Eaton is accused of shooting two Palestinian Americans and a Palestinian in Burlington last month.

The man charged with shooting two Palestinian Americans and a Palestinian in Burlington last month will be held in prison pending trial, according to court documents filed on Tuesday.

Attorneys for Jason J. Eaton and Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George agreed to continue to hold Eaton without bail.

Eaton was arrested in late November for allegedly shooting three 20-year-old college students — Hisham Awartani, Kinnan Abdalhamid and Tahseen Ali Ahmad. They were in Burlington for the Thanksgiving holiday and had been staying with Awartani’s extended family.

The three young men were walking in Burlington on the evening of Nov. 25, when, court records say, a man stepped off a porch and without saying anything shot all three of them.

All three have been released from the hospital; Awartani is paralyzed from the chest down and has been transferred to a rehabilitation facility in Massachusetts, his family said.

More from NPR: Mother of Palestinian student shot in Vermont thought he would be safer in U.S.

The victims’ families and civil rights advocates have called on law enforcement officials to charge Eaton with a hate crime, pointing to the fact that the Awartani, Abdalhamid, and Ali Ahmad were speaking in a mix of Arabic and English, and that two of them were wearing traditional Palestinian scarves.

George, the state’s attorney, said after Eaton’s arrest that there wasn’t currently enough evidence to bring a hate crime charge. In a text message on Tuesday, she said there weren’t any updates on the case.

Eaton is being held at Northwest State Correctional Facility, according to the Department of Corrections jail tracker. The stipulation requested that the court set a status conference for the case in the next 60-75 days.

Eaton’s attorney didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message, or contact reporter Liam Elder-Connors:


Liam is Vermont Public’s public safety reporter, focusing on law enforcement, courts and the prison system.