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An MIT Researcher Killed a Yale Grad Student. He Ran from Police for Months But Now Will Spend Years Behind Bars.

Former MIT Researcher Sentenced in Shooting Death of Yale Grad Student
Source: New Haven police; U.S. Marshals

Qinxuan Pan (right) pleaded guilty to fatally shooting Kevin Jiang (left), a Yale grad student, in 2021.

Apr. 28 2024, Published 12:20 p.m. ET

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A former MIT researcher pleaded guilty to fatally shooting a Yale graduate student in 2021. Now, officials say the shooter will spend decades behind bars for the killing.

In a joint effort between U.S. Marshals and state authorities, Qinxuan Pan was arrested without incident in Alabama in May 2021. He was taken into custody by Montgomery County police.

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The arrest came on the heels of an international warrant — a so-called “Red Notice” — issued for Pan through Interpol requesting worldwide law enforcement agencies for his location, arrest and extradition. Pan had been charged with murder and second-degree larceny regarding the fatal shooting of Kevin Jiang, 26.

U.S. Marshalls offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to Pan’s arrest. However, it was not clear if the reward had been the result that led authorities to Pan’s location.

After a Feb. 6, 2021 car crash, Jiang was found shot several times next to his vehicle near Lawrence and Nash streets, in New Haven, Connecticut, a couple of blocks from the Yale campus.

North Haven police responded to the crash, encountered Pan, and towed his car away from the scene. Investigators later learned Pan’s vehicle was stolen and tried to locate him. However, the 33-year-old MIT researcher absconded and was at large.

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Five days later, Pan was spotted driving with relatives in Brookhaven, Georgia. He had been seen by other relatives acting oddly and carrying a black backpack.

Initially, authorities believed Jiang’s death occurred as a result of road rage. However, there is still no confirmation of the exact motive.

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Jiang had been a member of the Trinity Baptist Church in New Haven, Connecticut. He was described by fellow worshipers as someone who joyfully invited others to church, served others and winsomely shared the joy of Jesus Christ. The church helped plan his wedding after he had proposed to his fiancée a week before he died.

Jiang was a U.S. Army veteran and a National Guard reservist. He had been enrolled in a master’s program at Yale School of Environment.

In February 2024, Pan pleaded guilty to the murder of Jiang. This month, Pan was sentenced to 35 years in prison with no chance of parole or probation.

the Associated Press reported that Pan, at his sentencing, accepted the penalty and told the court, “I feel sorry for what my actions caused and for everyone affected."

Jiang's father, Mingchen Jiang, spoke during the hearing, saying, “My son was a remarkable young man who cherished life and held deep (belief) in God. He had a bright future ahead — one that promised to spread God’s love far and wide."

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