Shooting injured Palestinian student breaks silence

7 min read

An injured Palestinian student, who was one of three students who were shot in Burlington, Vermont last weekend, has revealed the moment he realized he had been shot, when he broke his silence over last weekend’s incident.

Kinnan Abdalhamid said that, during an interview that was aired on CBS News on Thursday, he thought his friends might have been killed in the shooting, and wanted to call 911 – but then experienced a “shocking spike of pain” which he could not cope with.

Whenever I pressed my hand against the area of pain, I noticed that it was soaked with blood once I looked at it, explained Abdalhamid. “I was like, ‘holy s***, I was shot.'”

During a stroll along a street with his friends Tahseen Ahmad and Hisham Awartani on Saturday night, Abdulhamid, a Haverford College student, was shot and killed. 

There was a report of at least four bullets being fired without any words being exchanged after an armed white male allegedly fired at least four bullets without saying anything to them while they were visiting a relative in Burlington for Thanksgiving.

In Abdalhamid’s words, “we were speaking about something like Arab-ish,” in other words, we were trying to figure out something like Arabic and English. He (the gunman), without hesitation, just walked downstairs and pulled out a firearm pistol and began firing.”

In CBS News’ report on the incident, it was revealed that two of the victims were wearing black and white checked keffiyehs, the black and white scarf that signifies Palestinian identity and solidarity.

Upon hearing the shots, Abdalhamid ran for his life as he feared for his life.

It is my belief that Tahseen took the first shot, which went through his chest,” Abdalhamid stated. He continued, “I heard the thud on the ground and the screaming of Tahseen, and I heard the second pistol shot strike Hisham. That’s when I heard his thud on the ground. It was then that the second pistol shot hit my wife.”

He didn’t realise at first that he too had been wounded when he saw Abdalhamid lying on the ground.

It was like a fight or flight situation for me,” Abdalhamid said, as he described the experience as being so surreal. My first memory of being shot was a minute later, after which I realized I had been shot.

After the 20-year-old knocked on a neighbour’s door and the neighbor called 911, the 20-year-old managed to find a way to get help. After that, Abdalhamid, who had trained as a paramedic and was aware that he needed help sooner rather than later, begged the authorities not to delay taking him to the hospital.

He approached the two injured companions when he arrived, and inquired about the conditions in which they were in. It was reported on Thursday that one of them suffered spinal damage, and the other one is still in the intensive care unit recovering from the injury.

During that time of emergency, Abdalhamid asked doctors if his friends were alive, saying, “Is it okay for them to be alive?“.” It was only after that, that the doctors were able to ask, and they told me, that I began to feel a lot better mentally, and I was feeling much more relieved.

As a result of the shooting in Jerusalem, Abdalhamid’s mother, Tamara Tamimi, rushed to Vermont from Jerusalem.

I feel that Palestinians are not safe anywhere in the world at the moment, and that is what I feel so far,” Tamimi said. She asked, “If we’re not going to be able to provide a safe environment for him here, then where on earth are we going to put him? Where are we going to be? How am I going to protect him?”

Authorities have taken custody of a 48-year-old man, Jason J Eaton, and are investigating the shooting as a possible hate crime after taking him to custody on Sunday. In response to his plea of not guilty to three counts of attempted murder, Eaton was placed in custody without bail and was unable to post bail.

That news provided by timenews.

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