The man suspected in the murder of School of Medicine postdoctoral clinical fellow Vajinder Toor, 34, had Google map directions to Toor’s Branford, Conn., home, as well as a picture of Toor in his van when he was arrested Monday, according to an assistant state’s attorney who spoke at the suspect’s arraignment Tuesday.
Just after 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, judicial marshals escorted Lishan Wang, 44, into Courtroom B of the New Haven Superior Courthouse on Elm Street for the arraignment. Wang, who is a Chinese national from Beijing, kept his head bowed as Judge Roland Fasano read him his rights and a court-appointed Mandarin interpreter translated the judge’s words.
Wang did not speak other than to decline to ask any questions of the judge, and he did not enter a plea. Wang’s lawyer, assistant public defender Scott Jones, agreed to a $2 million bail, though he reserved the right to challenge it at a later date. Jones also asked for protective custody for Wang while he is in prison.
The judge concluded the arraignment by transferring the case to Part A court, where major crimes are handled, and scheduled the next court date for May 11.
The judge found probable cause for Wang’s detention based on the police report of the incident submitted by the prosecution.
Assistant State’s Attorney Devant Joiner briefly laid out the evidence against Wang.
“Multiple witnesses saw the shooting and matched Mr. Wang’s vehicle to the scene,” Joiner said.
According to the Branford Police Department’s incident report, Toor’s wife, Parneeta Sidhu, told police that just before 8 a.m. she kissed her husband goodbye as he left for work. A few moments later, the report says, she heard a loud noise that sounded like gun shots. She ran outside and saw her husband lying in the grass just behind his car, and Wang was standing nearby, gun in hand.
“What are you doing to my husband?” she yelled at Wang.
According to the report, Wang then turned toward Sidhu and fired several shots in her direction. Sidhu, who is six months pregnant, was able to dodge the gunfire by ducking behind several cars and then running back to her house.
Two other Branford residents who live near Toor’s Blueberry Lane condominium said they saw different parts of the shooting and then saw Wang get into his red mini-van and quickly flee the scene.
Shortly after the shooting, about one mile away, Officer Joseph Peterson of the Branford Police saw the fleeing van and pursued it. When Wang pulled his vehicle over to the side of the road, Peterson approached him, rifle in hand, and ordered him to exit the vehicle. Wang complied and was handcuffed by Peterson and other officers.
Inside the van, police found three handguns, two of which matched shell casings officers recovered from the scene of the crime. Police also found two ammunition magazines on Wang. In addition to the picture of Toor, the vehicle contained pictures of two other people involved in Wang’s 2008 firing from the New York medical center where both he and Toor worked.
In 2008, Wang was a resident at the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn, and Toor was Wang’s boss. In May of that year, Toor and two other personnel at the center were involved in a confrontation with Wang over alleged lapses in his duties. As a result of the dispute, Wang was fired.
Wang filed a lawsuit against Kingsbrook in July 2009, accusing the hospital of discriminating against him because he is Chinese. The suit is still pending.
According to the suit, Wang has been a permanent resident of the United States since 2004 and entered Kingsbrook’s medical residency program in 2006. He lives in Georgia and has a wife and three children.
Toor was a first-year fellow in the infectious diseases section of the Department of Internal Medicine at the Yale School of Medicine. He graduated from the Guru Govind Singh Medical College in Punjab, India, in 2001.