A graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been charged with murder in connection with the fatal shooting of a faculty member.
What happened: Zijie Yan, an associate professor in the Department of Applied Physical Sciences, was shot to death shortly after 1 p.m. on Monday. The incident, which occurred at Caudill Laboratories — a chemistry studies building — resulted in an hours-long lockdown.
About the suspect: The alleged gunman fled the scene but was arrested about a mile away 90 minutes later. He was identified as Chinese national Tailei Qi, a graduate student in the victim’s research group.
Charges: Qi was charged with first-degree murder and possession of a weapon on educational property, both felonies, earlier today. Police are still determining a motive and he could face additional charges as the investigation continues.
What the university is saying: UNC-Chapel Hill is in contact with Yan’s family. In a statement, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz described him as a “beloved colleague, mentor and father of two.”
“This loss is devastating and the shooting damages the trust and safety that we so often take for granted in our campus community,” Guskiewicz said. “We will work to rebuild that sense of trust and safety within our community.”
What’s next: UNC-Chapel Hill canceled Tuesday’s classes. In honor of Yan’s memory, the university will ring its bell tower at 1:02 p.m. tomorrow, followed by a moment of silence.
Meanwhile, Qi will remain held without bail at Orange County Jail. He is scheduled to return to court on Sept. 18.