Adrian Kuleza, Staff Photographer
Kevin Jiang ENV ’22 was shot and killed Saturday night on Lawrence Street between Nicoll Street and Nash Street. His death marks the first possible homicide of a Yale student in more than a decade, but the sixth shooting death in New Haven just this year.
According to the New Haven Police Department, emergency services were called to the scene Saturday night just after 8:30 p.m. when neighbors heard gunshots in the area. Jiang was found lying on the road near his Toyota Prius. Responders were unable to revive him.
In a Sunday night email to the Yale community, Yale Police Department Chief Ronnell Higgins said that witnesses at the scene saw a new black vehicle flee the scene. Neighbors who were also near the scene said that they heard around seven shots fired.
“I have been in direct contact with New Haven Police Chief Tony Reyes, who confirmed that the investigation into Kevin’s death is active, and that NHPD is following up on several leads,” Higgins wrote in the email. “Police have been working through the night and this morning. I will update the community as additional information becomes available.”
In a press release on Sunday afternoon, Mayor of New Haven Justin Elicker, condemned the violence and affirmed New Haven’s dedication to providing justice to victims of violence.
“We are deeply concerned about the increase in violence throughout the nation and in New Haven,” Elicker told the News. “As the investigation proceeds, we will have more information about the sequence of events leading up to the homicide. Our Police Department and partners are putting all our resources into investigating this and other recent incidents of violence both to hold people accountable and ensure safety in the city.”
Jiang’s murder marks New Haven’s sixth homicide of this new year, following those of Alfreda Youmans, Jeffrey Dotson, Jorge Osorio-Caballero, Marquis Winfrey and Joseph Vincent Mattei.
While total crime is down by 42.6 percent in the first month of 2021 compared to the same time last year 2020. The total number of confirmed shots fired is up by 158.3 percent to 31 total shots fired in the first month of the year.
The Yale community was first informed by an email from Higgins that somebody was shot and killed on Saturday night. The next morning, University President Peter Salovey sent an email to the Yale community identifying the victim as Jiang.
Dean of Yale College Marvin Chun sent a similar message Sunday afternoon to the Yale College community encouraging students to reach out to Yale Mental Health & Counseling or the Chaplain’s Office for emotional support. Dean of YSE Ingrid Burke also sent a message to the YSE community the same day.
Over 200 members of the Yale community signed into an informal virtual community gathering to remember Jiang on Sunday afternoon hosted by YSE. Burke said at the gathering that YSE plans to continue classes as normal, but that the add/drop deadline for classes has been extended to Feb. 15 in an effort to accommodate students during this difficult time.
The last murder of a Yale student in New Haven was the death of Annie Le in 2009.
NHPD has scheduled a press event at the department headquarters for 11 a.m. on Feb. 8, in which it will update attendees on the investigation. The department is currently taking tips from the public regarding his death at 203-946-6304, and callers may choose to remain anonymous.
Reyes told reporters that investigators did not think the killing was random.
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Update, Feb. 9: This story has been updated to include comments from Reyes on the state of the investigation.