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Haverford College students "disgusted" after classmate was shot in possible hate crime in Vermont

Haverford College student among 3 Palestinian men shot in Vermont
Haverford College student among 3 Palestinian men shot in Vermont 02:19

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A Vermont man is facing three counts of attempted murder after he allegedly shot a Delaware County college student and his two lifelong friends in Burlington, Vermont, over the weekend.

The FBI is working to figure out if Jason Eaton targeted Kinnan Abdalhamid, a junior at Haverford College, and the young men because they are Palestinians. The 48-year-old was arrested on Sunday evening, one day after the shooting, and pleaded not guilty. 

Abdalhamid stepped out for some fresh air after a holiday gathering in Vermont with his two friends when they were shot Saturday night.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said the Justice Department is investigating whether the shooting was a hate crime.

Meanwhile, students at Haverford College said they were disgusted at what happened in Burlington, Vermont.

"I feel sad," April Hou said. 

"Disgusted, heartbroken," Bella said. 

Bella, a junior, has known Abdalhamid since the two were first-year students at the college. 

"He's one of the most brave, resilient people I've ever met and I hold the utmost respect for him. He's just an incredible kid," Bella said. 

Police said when Abdalhamid was shot alongside two of his longtime friends, they were each wearing their Keffiyehs. 


Bella said Abdalhamid is well-respected on campus, she said she always admired his courage to talk about his home life in the West Bank.

"He's been working to educate the campus on the Palestinian experience," Bella said. "He's Palestinian, he grew up in the West Bank, and he's just been trying to educate that perspective because that perspective is not something that is talked about on campus nearly as much as it should be."

The college said in a statement that it condemns all acts of hatred.

Friends of the young man said they're stunned.

"Right now, what matters is a student, like someone tried to murder our classmate in cold blood," Bella said. "It just breaks my heart to know what's going on in the world at this time."

The injuries to all three college students are described to be non-life-threatening. 

Haverford College indicated in their statement that Abdalhamid's family is still overseas.

A dean from the college is traveling to Vermont to be with him at his hospital bedside.

Eaton is currently being held without bail and was arraigned on Monday morning.  

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