MIT Grad Student Wanted For Questioning in Killing of Yale Student and Army Vet Kevin Jiang, Police Say

Yale Grad Student Kevin Jiang, 26, killed in alleged shooting
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New Haven police are looking for 29-year-old Qinxuan Pan for questioning in the homicide of Yale University graduate student Kevin Jiang, 26, who was shot and killed off-campus on Lawrence Street on Saturday, officials said.

Pan was last seen leaving North Haven’s Best Western hotel at 201 Washington Ave. on the night of Jiang’s death. He is wanted for questioning and there is a warrant out for his arrest in connection to an alleged car theft. 

Pan is considered armed and dangerous and the public should use extreme caution, officials said.

Pan has two active warrants, one of the warrants is fully extraditable, Reyes said. Pan is an MIT graduate student. His last known address was 193 Clifton Street, Malden, Mass.

“We do not feel there is a prevailing threat to the community,” New Haven Police Chief Otoniel Reyes said Wednesday. “We are hoping to bring the person responsible for this incident of homicide of this senseless crime to justice very soon.” 

Reyes did not name Pan as a suspect in the homicide case or comment whether the two had an existing relationship, NBC News reported.  

On Saturday, police responded to a number of 911 calls from neighbors reporting hearing multiple gunshots several blocks northeast of the University in New Haven’s East Rock neighborhood about 8:30 p.m. When New Haven Police Department and Fire Department arrived to Lawrence Street, between Nicoll Street and Nash Street, they found Jiang suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene, ABC News reported. 

Jiang was found lying on the road next to his Prius, which had rear-end damage, Fox News reported.

Police are investigating whether a vehicle crash happened immediately before the shooting, the New Haven Independent reported. 

”We do believe that he was there for a purpose. We just can't share that at this time," Reyes previously said, adding that the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Yale University Police Department are assisting in the investigation.

"We're exploring every possibility, including whether or not there was an accident that precipitated this incident or whether or not it was road rage," Reyes said.

Jiang had been near his new fiancée’s home in the Goatville section of East Rock, the Independent reported.

At the press conference, police brought up a recent spate of crimes over the past week that included the shooting death of Jiang. In a separate incident, Yale University Superintendent Paul White's home on Friday was struck by gunfire that came from an SUV, police said. 

Jiang was a graduate student attending Yale School of Environment as a member of the class of 2022. He was also a former member of the Army National Guard.

Yale President Peter Salovey called Jiang "an extraordinary young man” during Monday’s press conference.

"The Yale Community is grieving right now,” said Salovey. “He was committed to applying his talents to improving the world.” 

Salovey said Jiang volunteered at a homeless shelter, cooking and distributing food. He was conducting research on mercury levels in fish in the Quinnipiac River Watershed and helped manufacturers comply with local and federal environmental laws.

“Kevin gave so much to this community and we had worked together. We remember him fondly. We feel for his family, his fiancee and we express our condolences to them," Salovey said. 

He added: ”This is a tragedy that has hurt all of us. In the days ahead, I hope we can focus on each other's well being and support one another."

Jiang, who attended Yale’s School of the Environment, lived in West Haven. A week ago he and his fiancée, Zion Perry, got engaged, according to her Facebook page. Perry, whose home is not far from where Jiang was killed, moved to New Haven after completing her undergraduate work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to enroll in a graduate program at Yale, the Independent reported.

Jiang's death marks the sixth homicide in New Haven this year, police said. In 2020, New Haven recorded 122 shootings and 20 homicides, up from 77 shootings and 11 homicides in 2019, ABC News reported.

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