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MIT Graduate Named As Person Of Interest In Killing Of Kevin Jiang, Yale Student From Chicago

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBS Chicago/CBSNewYork) -- A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been named as a person of interest in the shooting that killed Kevin Jiang, a Yale University student from Chicago.

On Wednesday, New Haven, Connecticut police said they want to question Qinxuan Pan, a graduate of MIT, in the shooting this past weekend that killed Yale grad student Jiang, 26.

Police said Pan was last seen at the Best Western at 201 Washington Ave. in North Haven, Connecticut. His last known address is 193 Clifton St. in Malden, Massachusetts.

Pan should be considered armed and dangerous, police said, adding there are two active warrants for his arrest.

Police said he is not being called a suspect, only a person of interest.

Police said the Saturday night shooting in the East Rock neighborhood of New Haven was not random, but would not say if the men knew each other prior to the incident. The department has been trying to piece together the last moments of Jiang's life and figure out what preceded the gunfire on a quiet, snowy street.

Jiang proudly showcased his roots on social media – with pictures in Chinatown and the city's most well-known spots. But he had felt a calling to Yale's School of the Environment, where the second-year master's student was conducting research on mercury levels in fish.

But around 8:30 p.m. local time Saturday, Jiang was found dead near his car. The vehicle had rear-end damage.

Among the scenarios into which police are looking is if road rage triggered the gun violence.

"We have developed information suggesting that this incident may not have been an actual random act," New Haven police Chief Tony Reyes said Monday.

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Kevin Jiang
Kevin Jiang (Credit: Yale University)

Jiang had served in the Army National Guard. Friends said he was a devout Christian who was involved in multiple ministries at Trinity Baptist Church, which is less than a mile from where he was killed. And it was late last month when the graduate student distributed news to friends and family of his greatest adventure yet – proposing to his fiancée.

"I don't have a memory of him where he wasn't smiling and happy. And even if you didn't agree with all his views, he was more than happy to be your best friend," said graduate student Rebecca Dube.

CBS 2 was unable to talk with Jiang's family, but a friend also reached out describing Jiang as a joy, a man who was brave and determined, and always someone that would encourage and celebrate you.

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