Three Students of Palestinian Descent Shot in Vermont in Suspected Hate-Crime

Students of Palestinian Descent Shot in Vermont

Students of Palestinian descent shot in Vermont, In a still image from video, first responders wheel a victim to an ambulance after a shooter shot and wounded three college students of Palestinian heritage in Burlington, Vermont, US on November 25, 2023. 

Three Students of Palestinian Descent Shot in Vermont

students of Palestinian descent shot in Vermont

The cops reported that a gunman who shot and injured three college students of Palestinian heritage in Burlington, Vermont, on Sunday was the target of a search by police and federal agents. It is believed that the crime was motivated by hatred.

Three people were shot on Saturday night on the street close to the University of Vermont by a man brandishing a pistol, according to a statement from Burlington police. The man then fled the scene.

According to police, two of the victims are US citizens, while the third is a legal US resident. They are all 20 years old. According to police, two of the males were wearing keffiyehs, the characteristic black-and-white checkered scarf of Middle Eastern attire, at the time of the incident.

Based to the Institute for Middle East Understanding, a nonprofit pro-Palestinian advocacy organisation, the victims were speaking Arabic when they were attacked, and the perpetrator opened fire on the three men after yelling and harassing them. According to police, he fired four shots without saying anything.

Since the latest wave of Israeli-Palestinian killing erupted in the Middle East on October 7, there has been an increase in anti-Islamic and anti-Semitic events reported across the United States.

“In this charged moment, no one can look at this incident and not suspect that it may have been a hate-motivated crime,” said Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad in a statement.

“I have already been in touch with federal investigatory and prosecutorial partners to prepare for that if it’s proven,” Murad continued, adding that the criminal investigation was currently focused on apprehending the suspect.

“That there is an indication that this shooting could have been motivated by hate is chilling, and this possibility is being prioritised” when it comes to law enforcement, Miro Weinberger, the mayor, stated.

Earlier in the day, the relatives of the victims published a united statement urging police to investigate the shooting as a hate crime, as did the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, a US-based advocacy group.

“The rise in anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian sentiment is unprecedented, and this is yet another example of that hatred turning violent,” ADC National Executive Director Abed Ayoub stated.

The victims’ families recognised them as Hisham Awartani of Brown University in Rhode Island, Kinnan Abdel Hamid of Haverford College in Pennsylvania, and Tahseen Ahmed of Trinity College in Connecticut. According to the families, all three are alumni of the Ramallah Friends School, a private Quaker high school in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Two of the students were spending Thanksgiving with the third student’s family in Burlington. According to police, all three remained in hospital treatment on Sunday, two with torso gunshot wounds and one with lower extremity bullet wounds. “Two are stable, while one has sustained much more serious injuries,” a police spokesperson stated.

 

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