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Palestinian student shot in Vermont is paralyzed from chest down

Hisham Awartani, 20, had been walking to his grandmother's house with two friends over Thanksgiving weekend when all three were shot.
Palestinian student shot in Vermont is paralyzed from chest down
Posted at 12:21 PM, Dec 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-04 14:22:07-05

One of the three Palestinian college students shot last month in Vermont is paralyzed from the chest down.

Hisham Awartani, a 20-year-old junior at Brown University, had been walking to his grandmother's house with two friends over Thanksgiving weekend, when all three were shot. 

Awartani's family said he now has a bullet lodged in his spine, according to a GoFundMe account set up for his recovery.

"Hisham's first thoughts were for his friends, then for his parents who were thousands of miles away. He has demonstrated remarkable courage, resilience and fortitude — even a sense of humor — even as the reality of his paralysis sets in," said his family on his GoFundMe page.

The fundraiser has raised over $930,000 as of Monday afternoon.

Awartani's mother, Elizabeth Price, said her son will be released from the hospital next week and then go into rehabilitation care.

"We believe that Hisham will meet this challenge with the same determination I've witnessed this week," she said in a statement to CNN. "The fund will help cover costs associated with his rehabilitation, air travel of his family and expenses related to the adaptive needs of his new reality."

The suspected shooter, 48-year-old Jason Eaton, pleaded not guilty last week to three counts of attempted murder.

The two other victims — Kinnan Abdalhamid, a student at Haverford College, and Tahseen Ali Ahmad, a student at Trinity College — are also of Palestinian descent. The three have been friends since childhood.

Abdalhamid and Ahmad have been released from the hospital and are expected to make a full recovery. 

Police are still investigating whether this was a hate crime.

SEE MORE: Far from the West Bank, Vermont shooting victims face new fear


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