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One of the Palestinian students shot in Vermont is paralyzed from the chest down

2023-12-04T02:45:48.628Z

Highlights: Hisham Awartani, one of three Palestinian students shot in Vermont, was paralyzed from the chest down. One of the bullets lodged in his bone marrow, his family and friends said. The Palestinian-Irish-American grew up in the West Bank, speaks seven languages and studies mathematics and archaeology at Brown University. Jason Eaton, 48, was arrested in connection with the attack and pleaded not guilty to three counts of attempted second-degree murder. The students speak Arabic when they were attacked and two of them were wearing a kufiya or keffiyeh, headscarves.


Hisham Awartani's family said one of the bullets lodged in his bone marrow. Awartani speaks seven languages and studies mathematics and archaeology at Brown University.


By Mirna Alsharif - NBC News

Hisham Awartani, one of three Palestinian students who were gunned down last week in Burlington, Vermont, was paralyzed from the chest down.

Awartani's mother, Elizabeth Price, told NBC News on Thursday that her son was paralyzed from the middle of his torso down and may not be able to walk again.

"He has what's called an incomplete spinal cord injury, which means he can feel but can't move the areas that are currently paralyzed," Price explained. "He's going to intensive rehab later this week and hopefully that will help with his prognosis."

[Three Palestinian students wounded by white man who shot them 'without speaking']

In a GoFundMe campaign, which was set up on Saturday to raise money for Awartani's medical expenses, his family and friends said that "one of the bullets that hit him lodged in his spinal cord and left him paralyzed from the chest down."

"The family is committed to his recovery and remains hopeful despite the dire prognosis," Awartani's family said in a statement on the website that NBC News confirmed was authentic.

Hisham Awartani, one of three Palestinian students who were shot and wounded in Burlington, Vermont.Courtesy of the Institute for Middle East Understanding/Via NBC News

His family and friends describe him as "a gentle, kind and bright young man with enormous potential." Palestinian-Irish-American grew up in the West Bank, speaks seven languages and is an assistant professor at Brown University, where he studies mathematics and archaeology.

Awartani is dedicated to his studies and is determined to return for the next semester, according to his family and friends. NBC News has reached out to the boy's family for comment.

['It's very likely that I won't walk again': one of the students of Palestinian origin shot]

Awartani was walking near his grandmother's house on Nov. 25 with Kinnan Abdalhamid and Tahseen Ali Ahmad, all 20, when a suspect pulled out a gun and unprovoked shot them.

The students speak Arabic when they were attacked and two of them were wearing a kufiya or keffiyeh, headscarves that have become a symbol of Palestinian solidarity.

Awartani and Abdalhamid are U.S. citizens and Ali Ahmad is a permanent resident.

Awartani, a student at Brown University, was wounded in the spinal cord, Ali Ahmad in the chest and Abdalhamid in the buttocks, according to court documents.

Jason Eaton, 48, was arrested in connection with the attack and pleaded not guilty to three counts of attempted second-degree murder.

Families of the victims and advocacy organizations have called on authorities to investigate the attack by the youths as a hate crime.

[This is the white man accused of shooting three Palestinian-American students]

"We believe that a full investigation could show that our children were chosen and violently attacked simply because they are Palestinian," a joint statement from the families said. "Full justice and accountability are important and necessary to ensure that these kinds of brutal and violent attacks do not happen again."

Police have not yet revealed a motive for the attack and have said an investigation is ongoing.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2023-12-04

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