OAN’s James Meyers
1:55 PM – Monday, November 27, 2023
A man who was accused of attempted murder in the shooting of three Palestinian college students in Burlington, Vermont, has pleaded not guilty.
Jason Eaton, 48, was taken into custody on Sunday afternoon after he was identified as a suspect.
Eaton pleaded not guilty to three counts of attempted murder in the second degree on Monday and he is currently being held without bail.
However, Eaton, who lives near where the shooting occurred on Saturday night, was in “such a good mood” before it happened, according to his mother, who spoke with the outlet Daily Beast.
“Jason has had a lot of struggles in his life but he is such a kind and loving person,” his mother, Mary Reed, told the publication on Monday.
Meanwhile, investigators are still determining a motive behind the shooting, Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad said on Monday.
“We still do not know as much as we want to know,” Murad said at a press conference two days after the shooting. “But I would urge the public and you in the media to avoid making conclusions based on statements from people who know even less than we currently do. We are working hard to find out this information.”
“Although we do not yet have evidence to support a hate crime enhancement, I do want to be clear that there is no question, this was a hateful act,” prosecutor State Attorney Sarah George said Monday.
Currently, the three students remain hospitalized in an intensive care unit, according to Rich Price, who is an uncle of one of the victims.
Reed said that her son had previously suffered from depression and other mental health issues, but he seemed to be doing better mentally just days before the shooting took place.
“I just don’t understand,” Reed said. “I can’t believe he would do something like this.”
Authorities made the arrest on Sunday after a search of Eaton’s property had given them probable cause that there was a strong possibility he could be the one responsible for the shooting.
Additionally, during their search, police found a firearm and ammunition, according to court documents obtained by NBC News.
During their Thanksgiving meal, the accused 48-year-old did not mention anything whatsoever regarding the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, according to his mother.
Meanwhile, an upcoming bail hearing will be held for Eaton, Superior Court Judge A. Gregory Rainville said.
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