Kevin Jiang ENV ’22 was shot and killed Saturday night in what the police are now saying was a targeted attack.
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. According to New Haven Police Chief Otoniel Reyes, emergency medical services attempted to provide life saving measures but “pretty quickly determined” that Jiang was dead. Reyes said that there was a delay in identifying Jiang’s body because the medical examiner had to arrive and set up his body before the police could process the scene and determine Jiang’s identity.
“We are looking into whether or not Mr. Jiang was actually targeted during this incident,” Reyes said in a Monday morning press conference. “We have developed information suggesting that this incident may not have been an actual random act, and that he in fact was targeted.”
Police are investigating a range of possibilities, he said, including whether the shooting is related to an earlier accident or a case of road rage. But Reyes declined to release details about events immediately before the shooting and cautioned that it is too early in the investigative process to establish a motive.
Reyes added that he does not feel the New Haven community is at risk for future violence. He said that Jiang was familiar with the area of his death, and that the police believe he was “there for a purpose.” The New Haven Independent reported that Jiang was killed near the home of his fiancee, Zion Perry GRD ’26. The two had gotten engaged on Jan. 30.
When asked about the proximity of the gunshots, Reyes said Jiang suffered multiple gunshot wounds and that “it seems like it was much more up close.”
In an email to the Yale community on Feb. 9, Yale Police Department Chief Ronnell Higgins confirmed the details of the press conference, writing that “it appears … that Kevin was specifically targeted in the attack,” but refrained from further details, citing the ongoing investigation. Higgins reiterated that it does not seem as though any other members of the Yale or New Haven communities are in danger.
Still, he urged members of the Yale community to stay vigilant as they normally would. He included safety tips such as advising students to use the Yale Shuttle Service, follow lighted walkways when travelling by foot and avoid carrying large sums of money.
A GoFundMe for Jiang’s funeral expenses, organized by Denethi Wijegunawardana, a postgraduate researcher at the Yale School of Medicine, had raised over $24,000 as of last night.
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