In Burlington on Tuesday, residents from across Vermont gathered for vigils following a weekend incident where three Palestinian students, all 20 years old, were injured in a shooting. The victims were strolling during a visit to the home of one of their relatives when a white man armed with a handgun confronted them, as reported by the police.

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According to law enforcement, two of the victims were wearing keffiyehs, a symbol associated with Palestinian nationalism famously worn by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, at the time of the incident. The assailant, without uttering a word, approached and opened fire. The Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee noted that the victims, two of whom are U.S. citizens and the third a legal resident according to police, were conversing in Arabic during the attack.

Vigils were held at different locations, including the top of Church Street and outside the Burlington School District offices, as reported by WPTZ. The community was grappling with the shock of such an attack occurring in their own vicinity.

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Expressing his perspective on the situation, Miro Weinburger, the mayor of Burlington, stated to WPTZ, “I think people are appalled that this happened.” The incident raised concerns about the safety and inclusivity of the community, prompting residents to come together in solidarity, seeking comfort and understanding in the face of a troubling and unexpected act of violence. The vigils served as a poignant reminder of the need for unity and support in the aftermath of such incidents, fostering a collective commitment to addressing the underlying issues that contribute to such acts within their community.