Who is Jason J. Eaton? Vermont shooting suspect was recently fired from his job - Hindustan Times
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Who is Jason J. Eaton? Vermont shooting suspect thought ‘the world is a mess,’ was recently fired from his job

BySumanti Sen
Nov 28, 2023 01:42 PM IST

According to police, Jason James Eaton lives in an apartment building near the place where the shooting took place

Jason James Eaton, the Vermont shooting suspect who has been accused of shooting three Palestinian students, was reportedly fired from his financial services job weeks ago. The 48-year-old’s family has described him as a “spiritual person.” He reportedly acted normal even on Thanksgiving, just two days before the incident.

This handout photo provided by the Burlington Vermont Police Department on November 27, 2023, shows the booking photo of Jason Eaton (Photo by HANDOUT / Burlington Vermont Police Department / AFP)
This handout photo provided by the Burlington Vermont Police Department on November 27, 2023, shows the booking photo of Jason Eaton (Photo by HANDOUT / Burlington Vermont Police Department / AFP)

According to police, Jason lives in an apartment building near the place where the shooting took place. He was reportedly arrested at the site of the attack, the Daily Mail reported.

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The victims have been identified as Hisham Awartani, Kinnan Abdel Hamid and Tahseen Ahmed. They were all 20 years old. 

The Burlington Police Department said that the students were attacked while they were walking on Prospect Street while visiting a relative for Thanksgiving holiday. The release said that “they were confronted by a white man with a handgun.” “Without speaking, he discharged at least four rounds from the pistol and is believed to have fled on foot,” police said. While two of the students are US citizens, one is a legal resident. 

Two of the students were wearing keffiyehs, traditional Palestinian scarves, the police department said. While two were shot in the torso, one was shot in the “lower extremities.” The victims were taken to the University of Vermont Medical Center.

Eaton pleaded not guilty to three counts of attempted murder. Prosecutors have said that there is not enough evidence to charge Eaton with a hate crime. His motive is not known. 

Who is Jason James Eaton?

Eaton was a full-time sales assistant for CUSO Financial Services in Williston, the Daily Mail reported. However, he was terminated on November 8 for undisclosed reasons. While he was an employee, Eaton said his role was “laying down my life for my friends,” according to his professional page. 

“We are horrified by the shooting and are cooperating with law enforcement as they investigate,” Elisabeth Rutledge, a company spokeswoman, told the Boston Globe.

Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad said investigators believe Eaton previously lived in Syracuse, and later moved to Burlington. His social media revealed that he also worked as an assistant scoutmaster for a Cub Scout troop until 2021. 

“Mr. Eaton's alleged actions do not reflect the values of Scouting,” The Boy Scouts said in a statement. “Upon learning of his arrest he was been banned from registering in Scouting any capacity and will be proactively placed in the Volunteer Screening Database, permanently preventing his registration or participation in the future.”

Eaton is also a part-time farmer who describes himself as a “radical” libertarian on the “ADHD spectrum.” 

Talking to The Daily Beast, Eaton’s mother Mary Reed said her son had some “struggles” in the past. However, she said that nothing indicated that he could commit such a crime. 

“He, like all of us, thinks the world is a mess. He is a spiritual person,” Mary said. “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.”

Eaton studied in the University of Idaho in the past. However, he did not finish his degree in natural resource ecology and conservation biology. 

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