Nationwide manhunt in US for MIT student in murder of Yale student

The New Haven Police Department said it had secured an arrest warrant charging MIT graduate student Pan Qinxuan (left) with the murder of Mr Kevin Jiang.
The New Haven Police Department said it had secured an arrest warrant charging MIT graduate student Pan Qinxuan (left) with the murder of Mr Kevin Jiang.PHOTOS: QINXUAN PAN/FACEBOOK, KEVIN JIANG/FACEBOOK

NEW HAVEN (REUTERS) - Police investigating the fatal shooting of a Yale University student have officially named a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a murder suspect, intensifying a nationwide manhunt.

The New Haven Police Department said in a Facebook post on Saturday (Feb 27) that it had secured an arrest warrant charging Pan Qinxuan with murder, and that it would provide additional information on Monday. Pan remained at large, it said.

Mr Kevin Jiang, a 26-year-old graduate student at the Yale School of the Environment and a Seattle native, was shot and killed outside his car on Feb 6, rattling the prestigious Ivy League school's campus, located about 130km north-east of New York City.

Police had previously identified Pan, 29, as a "person of interest" and warned that he could be armed and dangerous. He was enrolled in the electrical engineering and computer science department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), itself an elite school not far from the suspect's last known address in Malden, Massachusetts.

The Daily Mail reported that Pan is a native of Shanghai, China.

The US Marshals, which is assisting with the hunt for Pan, said on Feb 11 that he was last seen that day in Brookhaven or Duluth, Georgia driving with family members.

Police have not disclosed a suspected motive in the killing.

The murder took place near the apartment of Mr Jiang's fiancee, Ms Zion Perry, also a Yale graduate student, the New Haven Independent reported on Feb 11.

Ms Perry and Pan had crossed paths at MIT, where she earned her undergraduate degree, according to the newspaper, which published a photo of the two at a social gathering in March 2020.

There is no evidence to suggest that Ms Perry and Pan had a romantic relationship, the New Haven Independent said.

During a press conference earlier this week, however, New Haven Police Chief Otoniel Reyes said investigators are not ruling out the possibility of a romantic rivalry, The Daily Mail reported.

Ms Perry did not immediately respond to an interview request by Reuters.

A spokesman for the New Haven police declined to provide additional information, while the US Marshals Service did not respond to a request for comment.