Who is Jason Eaton? All we know about the suspect charged with shooting 3 Palestinian students in Vermont 

Jason Eaton (Image via Katharine Huntley/X)
Jason Eaton (Image via Katharine Huntley/X)

Jason Eaton, a 48-year-old investment adviser and broker, was charged on Monday, Nov. 27, for shooting three Palestinian students in Vermont over the weekend.

According to court documents cited in multiple reports, investigators who were treating Saturday, Nov. 25, gun violence in Burlington, Vermont, as a suspected hate-motivated crime, said two of the three men recounted they were wearing black-and-white Palestinian keffiyeh scarves at the time of the track.

One of them reportedly told investigators that they were conversing in a mix of English and Arabic when the gunman confronted them with the weapon outside his apartment.

The three victims, identified as Hisham Awartani, Tahseen Aliahmad and Kinnan Abdalhamid, were reportedly strolling near the University of Vermont, about a block from the Awartani's grandmother’s house, when Jason Eaton confronted them outside his apartment and without a word opened fire before leaving the scene.

According to a police affidavit, Eaton was taken into custody on Sunday after an ATF agent knocked on his door while canvassing the neighborhood. The gunman reportedly greeted the agent with his hands out with palms upturned and said:

"I've been waiting for you.”

Authorities reportedly found a handgun, ammunition matching the casings found at the crime scene, two shotguns and a .22-caliber rifle.

The victims of Palestinian descent, who are undergraduate students at colleges in their 20s, remain in critical condition in hospital after sustaining gunshot wounds to the spine, buttocks and chest.

Eaton, who was charged with three counts of attempted second-degree murder, pleaded not guilty.

What we know about Vermont shooting suspect Jason Eaton

According to multiple reports, Jason Eaton, a Vermont man, has a versatile resume, having worked as a broker, investment adviser, assistant scoutmaster, farmer, research assistant and ski instructor.

Jason Eaton worked as a Harvard Research Assistant

According to the Daily Beast, the suspect, who went to the University of Idaho for a bachelor's in general studies and focused on natural resource ecology and conservation biology, was seven credits short of graduating in 2001.

During college, Eaton also worked as a research assistant in 1999 at Harvard Forest, a 4000-acre laboratory in Petersham, Massachusetts.

The suspect was recently employed by Cuso Financial Services

According to Vice News, Eaton, who has sporadically worked as a broker and financial adviser in New York State and Vermont since 2002, was recently employed by Cuso Financial Services, which provides advice to financial institutions like credit unions until last month.

While working as a broker and investor, Eaton was also employed as a field instructor for the McCall Outdoor Science School in Idaho, where he taught science to 5th and 6th graders for two months in 2005.

Daily Beast reported that in 2006, the suspect became an investment adviser representative and managed nearly 100 clients and $7 million in assets.

The suspect was a registered assistant Scoutmaster at Boy Scouts of America

Vice reported Eaton was also registered as an assistant Scoutmaster registered as an assistant scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts of America local unit in Upstate New York between 2017 and 2021.

Suspect also described himself as a Farmer

Vice revealed that the suspect has multiple social media accounts, which have now been deleted or locked.

In an archived version of an X (formerly called Twitter) account, the suspect described himself as a “dad” and “part-time farmer.” In one of the posts in March 2022, Eaton reportedly peddled conspiracy theories about COVID-19 vaccines.

Jason Eaton's social media accounts explored

In the archived account that includes a link to his Substack, “rdkl,” the suspect identified himself as a “reformed broker on the ADHD/ASD spectrum.”

Meanwhile, in another account on X, which has now been locked, Eaton described himself as a “radical citizen” who patrols “democracy and capitalism for oath creepers.”

Jason Eaton frequently read the Bible

Meanwhile, Jason Eaton’s mother, in an interview with Daily Beast, revealed that her son has previously struggled with mental health issues.

The suspect’s mother, Mary Reed, also said that her son was a “very religious person” who frequently reads the Bible and connects with several religious figures.

“Jason has had a lot of struggles in his life, but he is such a kind and loving person. I am just shocked by the whole thing.”

According to the victims' families cited in Reuters, Hisham Awartani is a student at Brown University in Rhode Island. Abdalhamid goes to Haverford College in Pennsylvania, while Aliahmad attends Trinity College in Connecticut.

The victims reportedly attended school together in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank. Two of the shooting victims are U.S. citizens, while the third is a U.S. resident.

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