Murder warrant out for MIT graduate in killing of Yale student
According to the family, his last known whereabouts are in Georgia.
Police have secured an arrest warrant charging Qinxuan Pan, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate student, with murder for the death of a Yale University graduate student earlier this month.
Kevin Jiang, 26, was shot dead on a street in New Haven, Connecticut, on the night of Feb. 6. The New Haven Police Department confirmed to ABC News on Saturday that they have obtained a murder warrant for the arrest of Pan, 29, who remains at large and is now a suspect in Jiang's killing.
U.S. Marshal Matthew Duffy said the murder warrant was secured with a $5 million bond.
“According to the family, his last known whereabouts are in Georgia,” Duffy told ABC News.
Jiang’s mother, Linda Liu, shared her gratitude with the public for their support in the investigation following news of the murder warrant.
“Thanks to all for the consideration of me and Kevin and my family," Liu told ABC News. "Thanks to all for the support and the love and the prayers. I just want to express my thanks to all of the people who are so nice to us."
Prior to the murder warrant, Pan was named as a person of interest in the case. He was accused of stealing a car and swapping the plates on the day of the murder.
Pan allegedly swiped a blue 2015 GMC Terrain from a car dealership in Mansfield, Massachusetts, about 35 miles southwest of Boston, on Feb. 6, just hours before Jiang was shot.
In the application for that arrest warrant, a Mansfield police officer stated that he was dispatched to the dealership on Feb. 6 at approximately 5:30 p.m. because a salesman had reported a stolen vehicle. The salesman told the officer that Pan had walked into the dealership that morning, asking if he could test drive the 2015 GMC Terrain and bring it to his mechanic to have the SUV inspected before he considered purchasing it. The salesman said he attached a Massachusetts dealer number plate to the car before Pan drove off with it at around 11 a.m., according to the warrant application.
The salesman said he texted Pan at approximately 3:30 p.m. to inquire when he was returning the SUV, and Pan responded asking if he could bring it back after-hours due to a family emergency. The salesman said he told Pan that the car needed to be returned before the dealership closes, but Pan did not respond. The salesman said he attempted to call Pan several times but he did not answer. The salesman noted that Pan "seemed like a very squared away person" and said he didn't believe that Pan was trying to steal the vehicle, according to the warrant application.
The officer stated in the warrant application that he also attempted to contact Pan but was only able to leave a voicemail. He asked the Malden Police Department to check if the vehicle was at Pan's residence, and the officers later reported that they spoke to Pan's mother who told them her son had changed his cellphone number and wouldn't say where he was. She told the officers that Pan would return the car. The officers noted that they have been dispatched to the residence in Malden "many times for mental illness issues," according to the warrant application.
The responding officer stated in the warrant application that he decided to hold off on entering the SUV as stolen and give Pan a chance to contact him or return the vehicle. But when the car hadn't been returned by 10:30 p.m. that night and Pan still hadn't contacted the dealership nor police, the officer said he requested the Southeastern Massachusetts Regional Emergency Communications Center to enter the vehicle as stolen and put out an all-points bulletin for the Malden area, according to the warrant application.
A few minutes later, the officer said he was notified that the SUV had been towed in New Haven, Connecticut, after Pan had allegedly driven the car into a scrap yard where it got stuck on some railroad tracks. Pan had allegedly removed the dealer number plate from the vehicle and attached a Connecticut commercial plate, which was reported to be lost or missing. When officers with the New Haven Police Department went to the location Pan was supposed to be staying to question him, he had already fled, according to the warrant application.
The officer stated in the application that he was requesting a warrant for Pan's arrest on a larceny charge due to the steps he allegedly took to "conceal the vehicle."
During a press conference earlier this month, New Haven Police Chief Otoniel Reyes said dispatchers received numerous 911 calls on Feb. 6 at around 8:30 p.m. before responding officers found Jiang dead from multiple gunshot wounds in the East Rock neighborhood, near Yale University's campus. Reyes told reporters that Jiang was operating a vehicle at the time of the shooting but declined to say if the victim was inside or outside his car when he was killed. Police are investigating whether Jiang was targeted and whether the shooting followed a road rage incident.
Jiang, a former member of the Army National Guard, had recently gotten engaged and was a graduate student at the Yale School of Environment, according to the university's president.
In June 2014, Pan received undergraduate degrees in computer science and mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. He has been enrolled as a graduate student in MIT's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science since September 2014, according to the school.
The United States Marshals Service has joined the search for Pan and is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to his location and arrest. The federal law enforcement agency issued a press release last week describing Pan as 6-feet tall, weighing about 170 pounds and having a medium complexion.
Pan could possibly be staying with friends or family in the Duluth or Brookhaven areas of Georgia, the agency said. He was last seen in the early morning hours on Feb. 11 driving with family members in Brookhaven or Duluth. Relatives told investigators that Pan was carrying a black backpack and acting strange.
"Pan should be considered armed and dangerous," the U.S. Marshals Service said in the press release. "Individuals should not attempt to apprehend him themselves."
Anyone with information on Pan's whereabouts is urged to contact the U.S. Marshals Service at 1-877-Wanted-2 (1-877-926-8332). Any information shared will be considered confidential, the agency said.
ABC News' Will Gretsky, Kate Hodgson, Bill Hutchinson and Julia Jacobo contributed to this report.