White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed Monday that the US President is “deeply shocked” after the shooting of three Palestinian students in Vermont on Saturday, while authorities are investigating what they believe to be a “hate crime.”
Jean-Pierre said during a press conference, “We are waiting for the facts to be determined, but while waiting for that, what we know is that there is absolutely no place for hatred or violence in the United States,” Agence France-Presse reported.
The suspect in the shooting of Palestinian students pleaded not guilty Monday to three charges related to attempted second-degree murder, but the judge ordered him held without bail.
The suspect, Jason Eaton, 48, appeared before the Chittenden County Criminal Court in Burlington via a video broadcast remotely from the county jail, where authorities have been holding him since his arrest on Sunday.
Police say Eaton used a gun to shoot and wound the three students in the street, near the University of Vermont in Burlington, on Saturday evening, before fleeing.
The authorities opened an investigation into the attack and considered it a suspected hate crime, and the police stated that two of the victims were wearing the Palestinian keffiyeh at the time of the attack.
According to the police, two of the students hold American citizenship and the third is a legal resident of the United States, and they are all 20 years old.
Burlington Police Chief John Murad said in a statement: “At this fraught time, no one can look at this incident without suspecting it is a hate crime.”
The police revealed that the three remained under medical care on Sunday, and that two of them suffered gunshot wounds to the torso, while the third was injured in the lower half of the body.
She explained that two are in stable condition, while the third suffers from more serious injuries.