Washington: Three Palestinian college students were shot in Burlington City, Vermont, US on Saturday evening, as reported by CNN.

According to information, the students were walking on Prospect Street after visiting a relative in Burlington for the Thanksgiving holiday when "they were confronted by a white man with a handgun."

The victims, two of whom are US citizens and one a legal resident, were taken to the University of Vermont Medical Center for medical care, according to a statement issued by the police on Sunday, as reported by CNN.

"Two are stable, while one has sustained much more serious injuries," the police said in its release.

"Without speaking, he discharged at least four rounds from the pistol and is believed to have fled on foot," police said.

Notably, two of the students were wearing keffiyehs, traditional Palestinian scarves, they added.

According to CNN, two students sustained injuries to the torso, while the third suffered injuries to the "lower extremities."

Authorities said that "there is no additional information to suggest the suspect's motive."

Moreover, detectives recovered ballistic evidence from the shooting, which will be submitted to a federal database, according to Burlington police.

Reportedly, the FBI on Sunday said that it was "prepared to investigate" the incident.

According to CNN, the shooter or shooters have not been identified or apprehended yet and the police department is "at the earliest stages of investigating this crime."

In a joint statement, the victims' families urged law enforcement to investigate the attack as a hate crime.

"We will not be comfortable until the shooter is brought to justice," they said.

"No family should ever have to endure this pain and agony. Our children are dedicated students who deserve to be able to focus on their studies and building their futures," they added.

Meanwhile, the Institute for Middle East Understanding issued a statement and identified the victims as Hisham Awartani, a student at Brown University in Rhode Island; Kinnan Abdalhamid, a student at Haverford College in Pennsylvania; and Tahseen Ahmad, a student at Trinity College in Connecticut, CNN reported.

The incident comes amid the increased tensions and hate crimes in the US in the past few weeks since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, to which Israel retaliated with airstrikes across the Gaza Strip.

Earlier in October, a 6-year-old Palestinian-American boy was stabbed to death by his family's landlord in a case, however, the authorities called it a hate crime, according to CNN.