Mayor Weinberger Delivers Remarks After Burlington Police Arrest Suspect in Shooting of Three Palestinian Students

Burlington, VT – Today, Mayor Miro Weinberger hosted a press conference to address the investigation into the shooting of three Palestinian students Saturday night in Burlington, Vermont and to announce the subsequent arrest and arraignment of the suspected shooter Jason Eaton. Present for the press conference were Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad, two uncles of the victims Rich Price and Radi Tamimi, Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George, United States Attorney for the District of Vermont Nikolas Kerest, and representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. 

The press conference was recorded by Town Meeting TV and is available to view online here:  

Mayor Weinberger made the following remarks:  

“The Saturday evening shooting of three young Palestinian college students visiting Burlington on their holiday break was one of the most shocking and disturbing events in this city’s history.   

This horrific, unprovoked attack was a tragic violation of the values and character of this welcoming, inclusive, and close-knit community.   

I am grateful that as a result of a huge, coordinated law enforcement response, led throughout by the Burlington Police Department, that we had the suspected shooter off of the street in less than 24 hours.  

We announced the arrest of Jason Eaton just after midnight last night and Burlingtonians were relieved to be able to go to school and work this morning knowing that the shooter was in custody.  

Mr. Eaton has now been arraigned and charged with triple attempted murder, charges that carry the potential for life sentences.   

This case remains the top priority of the Burlington Police Department. The investigation will continue as will our collaboration with state and federal partners, to give our prosecutors the strongest case possible, and to ensure that Mr. Eaton is held fully accountable for his actions. 

These law enforcement actions, while outstanding, will not erase the damage done by Saturday night’s violence. It is incumbent on us to continue supporting the victims, their families, and their communities. 

We are honored to be joined at this press conference by Rich Price, a long-time Burlingtonian who was hosting the three young men during their visit and who is the uncle of Hisham Awartani, the most seriously injured of the three men, as well as Radi Tamimi, the uncle of Kinnan Abdalhamid, who flew in from California this morning.  Rich and Radi, I am so sorry that this terrible event happened to your nephews here in Burlington.  Thank you for your collaboration and coordination throughout this ordeal, including the conversations we had yesterday, and please know that City will continue to do all that we can to support you and your loved ones during their recovery.   

I hope that Burlington’s Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim communities see in yesterday’s prompt arrest the City’s commitment to justice and keeping all members of our community safe.  I have been and will continue to be in communication with Muslim leaders about how Burlington can support their communities through this time of war and high international tension. 

I want to thank Chief Murad and the hard-working and skilled Detective Bureau led by Lieutenant Michael Beliveau for once again quickly bringing a shooting investigation to resolution.   

Your quick and forceful actions, over a holiday weekend, on the heels of the push you have been making to solve the November 12 double-homicide, speaks to the commitment and character of the Burlington Police Department. 

I am grateful to Chief Murad, also, for his leadership creating the Chittenden County Gun Violence Task Force more than a year ago as we experienced a spike in gun violence this community has never before. As you will hear in a moment when Chief Murad reviews the steps that led to the arrest of Mr. Eaton, that task force of local, state and federal partners, including critically both the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, as well as the FBI, responded immediately to the shooting and played a critical role in the events leading to the arrest.  This taskforce has become an invaluable part of our response to serious events at a time when we and so many other law enforcement agencies are short-staffed. 

I am also very grateful to State’s Attorney Sarah George for working deep into the night last night to secure search warrants and bring forward charges. Thank you for your partnership and leadership. 

Finally, I am grateful for US Attorney Nicholas Kerest.  Not only has the US Attorney been extremely supportive through this event, the federal government has provided enormous technical resources and law enforcement capacity throughout, and I have received direct support from the White House and the Department of Homeland Security as we navigated this unprecedented event.  And one of the reasons we got a little bit of a late start with this event is that I just had an extended phone call with President Biden.  It was my honor to thank the President for his leadership and caring for our community and the victims of this terrible crime, and to make clear to him the critical role federal partners played in securing a quick arrest.  

We are fortunate to have dedicated public servants working in the federal government who are committed to holding shooters accountable for gun violence despite the enormous barriers in the law and regulations that they face.” 


Press Release Date: 
City Department: 
Mayor's Office