NEW HAVEN, Connecticut — Cops have launched a nationwide manhunt for a MIT researcher eyed in the cold-blooded shooting of a Yale grad student.
Police in New Haven say they wanted to question Qinxuan Pan, a 29-year-old artificial intelligence researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in the weekend shooting of Kevin Jiang outside his house.
Jiang, 26, studied at the Yale School of the Environment and had just gotten engaged to be married to Zion Perry a week before he was shot multiple times. Perry is also a grad student at Yale and had previously studied at MIT.
Police have believed that Jian had been targeted, instead of being a victim of a random act.
Police believe Pan was “in the area” at the time Jiang was killed. The department considers Pan a person of interest and he is not officially suspected of committing the shooting.
“We are not prepared to identify him as the shooter in this investigation. At this point, the only information we can put out is that he is a person of interest,” said New Haven Police Chief Otoniel Reyes.
Asked about the MIT connection to Jiang’s fiancee, Reyes said “we are exploring every angle related to this investigation and every person involved,” but that the department was not ready to discuss any such connections. They were not ruling out a prior relationship between Perry and Pan, he said.
Reyes said Pan should be considered armed and dangerous. He is thought to have fled Connecticut and authorities believe he may be in Georgia.
Police say they had contact with Pan shortly after Jiang’s killing, after receiving a call about a man acting suspiciously near some railway tracks. At the time, the officers were unaware at that time that a killing had taken place and Pan was let go.
It was later determined that Pan had been driving in a car that had been stolen in Massachusetts and he is wanted on a warrant for allegedly possessing a stolen car.
The FBI is also investigating the case.