In a recent development following the shooting incident in Burlington, Vermont, the mothers of two Palestinian descent college students, who were among the three victims, arrived in the United States to visit their sons. Tamara Tamimi and Elizabeth Price, coming from Jerusalem and the West Bank respectively, provided updates on their sons’ conditions at Dulles International Airport during an interview with CBS News.
Kinnan Abdalhamid, son of Tamimi, has been released from the hospital. He sustained a bullet graze on his right buttock, which, according to his mother, did not cause deep injury. Tamimi recounted her son’s distress over being unable to assist his friends during the incident, emphasizing his training as an EMT. Abdalhamid, a pre-med junior at Haverford College, managed to escape the shooter by running and hiding.
In contrast, Hisham Awartani, son of Price and a junior at Brown University, remains in critical condition with a spinal injury caused by a bullet impact. Price detailed the nature of his injuries and his upcoming medical procedures, including surgery to repair his clavicle. The injury has rendered Awartani unable to move his legs, and he may soon be transferred to a rehabilitation center.
The third victim, Tahseen Ahmad, a Trinity College student, is reported to be in stable condition. This information was released in a statement by the president and vice president of Trinity College.
The shooting occurred on a Burlington street near the University of Vermont campus. The victims, visiting a relative, were conversing in Arabic and English and two were wearing traditional Arab keffiyeh scarves. Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad provided details of the incident, including the shooter’s approach and actions.
Jason Eaton, 48, has been arrested and charged with three counts of attempted murder in the second degree. During his court appearance, Eaton pleaded not guilty and was ordered to be held without bail. Eaton, who resides near the shooting location, was identified as the suspect after a .380-caliber firearm, matching the casings found at the scene, was recovered from his residence.
The context of the shooting, amidst the ongoing Israel-Hamas war and rising reports of antisemitism and Islamophobia in the U.S., has led to an investigation into the incident as a possible hate crime. Sarah George, the state’s attorney for Chittenden County, emphasized the hateful nature of the act, though evidence for a hate crime enhancement has not yet been established.
Tamimi expressed her belief to CBS News that the rhetoric in the U.S. regarding the war in Gaza contributed to the shooting, citing the dehumanization of Palestinians as a factor. Both mothers, Tamimi and Price, reflected on the impact of the incident on their sons and the strength of their friendship, which they believe helped them cope with the trauma.