A 26-year-old Yale graduate student was shot dead in New Haven on Saturday.
According to the New Haven Independent, forestry major and Army veteran Kevin Jiang was found by first responders around 8:30 p.m. They arrived on the scene in New Haven’s East Rock neighborhood after calls reported several gunshots. Jiang was lying near his Toyota Prius, which had suffered rear end damage. Because of this, investigators believe a crash might have immediately preceded the shooting.
The Independent notes that Jiang lived nearby with his mother and partner. He had gotten engaged very recently and his mother moved out from Seattle when Jiang joined the program at Yale.
“My office has been in close contact with members of Kevin’s family. I wish to convey to them and to all others who loved Kevin my sincere condolences. Kevin was an extraordinary young man; the School of the Environment will be holding a community gathering later today and will be planning additional remembrance events,” said Yale President Peter Salovey said in a statement.
Jiang was a volunteer at Trinity Baptist Church in New Haven and the church’s fellowship coordinator described him in glowing terms.
"He was cheerful, energetic, joyful. He was loving life,” Kirsten Walker told the Independent.
Jiang’s mother and fiancé declined to comment.
The young man’s death is the first time since 2009 that a grad student at Yale has been murdered while in New Haven. The death of Annie Le generated nationwide headlines after her body was found in the wall of a research lab on campus, mere days before her wedding. An associate of Le’s in the lab confessed to the killing and the university paid out $3 million to her family as the result of a wrongful death lawsuit.