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Suspect in shooting of 3 men of Palestinian descent near the University of Vermont pleads not guilty

BURLINGTON, Vt. — Three college students of Palestinian descent out for a walk in Vermont were seriously injured over the weekend when a man shot them at close range on a city street — an attack being investigated as a possible hate crime, authorities said Monday.

Jason J. Eaton, 48, made his initial court appearance by video from jail on three counts of attempted murder, and a plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf on Monday. He was ordered held without bail.

The U.S. Department of Justice, along with state law enforcement agencies, were investigating whether Saturday's shooting was a hate crime amid an increase in threats against Jewish, Muslim and Arab communities across the U.S. since the Israel-Hamas war began, Attorney General Merrick Garland said. ''There is understandable fear in communities across the country,'' he said.


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