The man accused of shooting three Palestinian students over the weekend in Vermont has been arrested and identified as 48-year-old Jason J. Eaton.
The Daily Mail said that he self-describes as a “radical” libertarian on the “ADHD spectrum,” and according to his mother – very religious.
Eaton appeared before a judge at a virtual court hearing today, where he pleaded not guilty to three counts of attempted second-degree murder.
He is suspected of shooting Hisham Awartani, Kinnan Abdel Hamid, and Tahseen Ahmed, who were visiting Awartani’s grandmother’s house when they were shot on Saturday afternoon.
The students were speaking in Arabic and English, and two of them were wearing keffiyehs, leading police to believe it was a hate-motivated attack.
Eaton’s shocked mother, Mary Reed, told The Daily Beast he had had his “struggles” in the past but that nothing indicated he was capable of such violence.
She said he is a “very religious” person but had seemed normal when she spent Thanksgiving with him on Thursday, two days before the shooting.
“He, like all of us, thinks the world is a mess. He is a spiritual person,” she said, adding he is “kind” and “loving,” and she is in shock.
The three men who were shot are hospitalized: two are in stable condition, and one is in serious condition.
The three 20-year-olds were walking during a visit to the home of one of the victim’s relatives when they were confronted.
He never said a word when he shot at least four times. Two of the men are citizens, and one is a legal resident.