Police in New Haven, Conn., on Wednesday identified an MIT researcher as a person of interest in the fatal shooting of Yale grad student Kevin Jiang on Saturday night. They are seeking Qinxuan Pan, 29, a resident of Massachusetts, and they warn the public he should be considered armed and dangerous. "Extreme caution should be used if you come in contact with this individual," they say, per Fox News. Police say Pan, who was last seen at a Best Western hotel in North Haven, Conn., has probably since left the state. Jiang, 26, was fatally shot while operating a vehicle, per ABC News, and police believe he may have been targeted, possibly due to road rage—he had been involved in a car accident before his murder. They are also investigating whether Jiang and Pan knew each other prior to the slaying.
The New Haven Independent reports that police actually had Pan, who is not officially a suspect in the case, in their custody shortly after Jiang's death—they were called to the Best Western on reports of a suspicious vehicle and a man acting oddly by the train tracks behind the hotel. It turned out to be Pan, whom police encountered and questioned, but ultimately released. But they later learned the car he was driving had been stolen out of Massachusetts, and he is now wanted on warrants in both Massachusetts and Connecticut in connection with a stolen vehicle. Pan is a PhD student and researcher at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He got his undergraduate degree from the university in 2013. Jiang’s fiancee Zion Perry graduated from MIT last year and is apparently friends with Pan on Facebook, the Yale Daily News reports. (Read more Yale University stories.)