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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBS/AP) — A person of interest in the murder of a Yale University grad student with ties to Chicago stole a car in Massachusetts the day before driving to Connecticut, according to a police report.
The grad student – Kevin Jiang, 26 – was shot and killed in New Haven, Connecticut on Saturday, Feb. 6.
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A report filed by police in Mansfield, Massachusetts, alleged Qinxuan Pan took a blue GMC Terrain for a test drive from a dealership on Feb. 6 and never returned it. Pan also allegedly put a commercial Connecticut license plate on the vehicle to conceal its identity, the New Haven Register reported.
Pan, 29, has not been identified as a suspect but is considered a person of interest in Jiang’s murder. Jiang was shot multiple times and found lying outside his car on a New Haven street.
Police have said they believe Pan was in the area at the time of the shooting, the newspaper reported.
Jiang’s family had lived in Chicago before moving to Seattle.
He proudly showcased his Chicago roots on social media – with pictures in Chinatown and the city’s most well-known spots. But he had felt a calling to Yale’s School of the Environment, where the second-year master’s student was conducting research on mercury levels in fish.
Jiang had served in the Army National Guard and was an Army veteran. In the Army, he was a tank operator and a chemical, biological, radiation and nuclear officer, according to Yale.
Friends said he was a devout Christian who was involved in multiple ministries at Trinity Baptist Church, which is less than a mile from where he was killed. And it was late last month when the graduate student distributed news to friends and family of his greatest adventure yet – proposing to his fiancée.
Police have said Pan, an MIT graduate, was seen in the Atlanta area several days after Jiang’s killing and should be considered dangerous. The U.S. Marshals Service has offered a reward for information leading to his location.
According to the Mansfield police report, Pan left the dealership with the car at around 11 a.m. When a salesman called him at 5:30 p.m. to ask when he would be returning, Pan allegedly asked for more time, saying he had a family emergency. He then stopped responding to texts and phone calls.
Pan faces an arrest warrant for larceny.
A telephone number for Pan’s home in Malden, Massachusetts, had been disconnected as of Friday, the newspaper reported.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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