UNC shooting victim is identified as Zijie Yan, academic advisor who worked with Wuhan-educated gunman on his physics PhD course
PhD grad student Tailei Qi has been charged for first degree murder over Monday’s shooting at the Chapel Hill campus
Qi is accused of shooting dead his academic advisor Zijie Yan on the first day back in school for UNC students
Qi and Yan wrote several academic papers together over the last years
Victim: UNC faculty member, Dr Zijie Yan, was shot and killed by his student on Monday. He was the alleged shooter’s academic advisor
The victim in Monday’s shooting at the University of North Carolina was the academic advisor of the alleged shooter, grad student Tailei Qi, it has been revealed.
Qi, a physics PhD student at UNC, was charged for first degree murder on Tuesday and booked at the Orange County jail. . He was ordered held without bond on Tuesday and is expected to reappear in court on September 18.
Faculty member Zijie Yan, an associate professor in the department of applied physical sciences, was the shooting’s only fatality. Qi reportedly worked closely with Yan’s research group at UNC, which focused on nanoscience technology.
The shooting sent the UNC-Chapel Hill campus into lockdown.
UNC grad student Tailei Qi [photo], has been charged with first-degree shooting over Monday’s shooting at the Chapel Hill campus. His victim it has been reported, was his academic advisor
Qi was charged for first degree murder on Tuesday and booked at the Orange County jail. He was ordered held without bond on Tuesday and is expected to reappear in court on September 18
It took about an hour and a half to lift the lockdown after the arrest because authorities were making sure they had the right suspect in custody.
The building where gunfire broke out is a stone’s throw from the school’s iconic Bell Tower and just doors down from the store that sells students books and other merchandise.
During a press conference on Monday evening, investigators said that they had not yet discovered a motive behind the shooting.
While the victim and suspect’s connection is now clear, the motive remains under investigation, but a series of concerning social media posts have been unearthed, in which Qi complained about his UNC colleagues and slammed bullies at the school.
Dr Yan is believed to be the very same lead faculty member that the suspect railed against online, as Qi’s head of lab.
The victim led the Yan Research Group, which Qi joined last year, after joining the Chapel Hill faculty in 2019, according to the group’s UNC webpage.
Qi reportedly worked closely with Dr Zijie Yan [standing], and his research group at UNC, which focused on nanoscience technology
The suspect is a graduate student who previously studied at Wuhan University in 2015, and was studying at the Department of Applied Physical Sciences.
He also gained a master’s in material science in 2021 from Louisiana State University.
Last month Qi shared a paper that he had written on optical binding on LinkedIn, which was published in his name as well as two others – including his adviser and alleged victim.
The two academics wrote several papers in the last years on the effect of light on nanoparticles.
Yan’s recent work focused on so-called ‘optical tweezers’ – a process that uses light to develop advanced nanorobots within cells.
Tailei Qi was seen [photo], being put into a police cruiser following his arrest, a few hours after the shooting, about a mile from the campus
Faculty member Zijie Yan, an associate professor in the department of applied physical sciences, joined UNC in 2019 after working at Clarkson University and the University of Chicago
UNC Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz said in a statement: ‘This loss is devastating and the shooting damages the trust and safety that we so often take for granted in our campus community.
‘We will work to rebuild that sense of trust and safety within our community and our hearts are with the family of our fellow faculty member, those who are personally connected to the victim and those traumatized by this senseless act of violence.’
Yan joined UNC in 2019 after working at Clarkson University and the University of Chicago.