NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — An arrest warrant has been issued for a suspect in the slaying of an Army National Guard officer and Yale graduate student, authorities said Friday.
Qinxuan Pan is wanted in the Feb. 6 killing of 2nd Lt. Kevin Jiang, who was found lying outside his car on a New Haven street with multiple gunshot wounds.
Pan, 29, is believed to be staying in the Atlanta area and should be considered armed and dangerous, Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Matthew Duffy said.
He was last seen in the suburbs of Duluth or Brookhaven, driving with family members, carrying a black backpack and acting strange days after the killing, Duffy said.
Pan, an MIT graduate, is accused of stealing an SUV from a Massachusetts dealership the day of the killing before driving to Connecticut.
North Haven police had earlier interacted with Pan when the stolen SUV got a flat tire in the parking lot of a junkyard. Police had the vehicle towed and dropped Pan off at a Best Western hotel, the New Haven Independent reported.
By the time the vehicle was reported stolen, Pan had fled from the hotel.
New Haven Police Chief Otoniel Reyes said that it seems Jiang was specifically targeted and the shooting did not appear to be random, according to a campus update from Yale.
The arrest warrant is a development from Reyes’ previous statements, in which he said Pan was a person of interest but not a suspect in the shooting.
Jiang, 26, had recently gotten engaged to be married. The Seattle native earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies at the University of Washington and was an Army veteran and Army National Guard member, according to his LinkedIn page and Yale officials.
Task and Purpose reported that Jiang was an environmental science officer assigned to the 118th Multifunctional Medical Battalion in Middletown, Connecticut. At the time, he was on orders to provide full-time support to the National Guard’s COVID-19 response.
He had formerly served as an M1 armor crewman with the Washington National Guard, which he joined in 2012.
“Our hearts are heavy having lost a brother and bright young member of our team with nothing but potential ahead of him,” said Maj. Gen. Francis Evon, the adjutant general of the Connecticut National Guard, in a press release quoted by Task and Purpose. “2nd Lt. Jiang believed in service to his community and recently volunteered to support COVID-19 relief efforts. There’s nothing to call this other than a tragedy and we give our deepest condolences to his family, fiancée, and loved ones, and thank you for the precious time you’ve shared him with us.”
The U.S. Marshals Service has offered a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to Pan’s location and arrest.