University on lockdown over ‘active shooting’ situation on campus
Students at the University of North Carolina are demanding action on gun control in the wake of Monday’s deadly Chapel Hill campus shooting.
Around 600 students took part in a rally on Wednesday calling for stricter state gun laws and holding a moment of silence for slain professor Zijie Yan.
The student newspaper The Daily Tar Heel marked the tragedy with a powerful front page on Wednesday, featuring the terrified text messages sent by loved ones to its editor-in-chief during the active situation. The page has gone viral.
Many questions still remain about suspect Tailei Qi’s motive for the attack as the search for the gun continues.
Mr Qi, a PhD student majoring in applied physical sciences, had complained about the victim online in the lead-up to the attack and railed against hard work, “girls and tattletales” and bullies in the US.
He was arrested and booked into Orange County Sheriff’s Office jail on a first-degree murder charge for fatally shooting Yan, the head of the Department of Applied Sciences.
Authorities probe motive behind shooting
Police were searching for both the weapon and the motive in a shooting at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that left one faculty member dead and prompted an hours-long lockdown amid a search for the suspect.
The assailant in Monday afternoon’s shooting at a science building in the heart of the flagship university’s campus was taken into custody about an hour and a half after the gunfire was first reported, officials said at a news conference. Neither the suspect nor the victim were immediately identified and it wasn’t clear whether they knew each other. Formal charges were pending.
“To actually have the suspect in custody gives us an opportunity to figure out the why and even the how, and also helps us to uncover a motive and really just why this happened today. Why today, why at all?” UNC Police Chief Brian James said. “And we want to learn from this incident and we will certainly work to do our best to ensure that this never happens again on the UNC campus.”
WATCH: UNC shooting suspect arrested after one faculty member confirmed dead
2019 shooting at different UNC campus left two people dead
Harrowingly, the horror was a somewhat familiar sight for the UNC community coming four years after a mass shooting at the Charlotte campus.
Back on 30 April 2019 – on the last day of the spring semester classes – two people were killed and four injured in a mass shooting inside a classroom in the Woodford A. Kennedy Building.
The gunman – identified as former UNCC student Trystan Andrew Terrell – was arrested soon after.
In September 2019, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced life without the possibility of parole.
Tailei Qi is ordered held without bond during court appearance
Mr Qi appeared in court on Tuesday and was officially charged with the first-degree murder of his academic advisor Dr Zijie Yan.
The alleged shooter was ordered held without bail and had an interpreter explain the proceedings to him in Mandarin.
Mr Qi, a PhD student at UNC at Chapel Hill, is scheduled to appear in court again on 18 September.
A new college term, a faculty member killed and a student arrested: What we know about the UNC shooting
A college campus in North Carolina woke up on Tuesday gripped by fear, grief and many unanswered questions.
Just days into the start of a new term, students and faculty members at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found themselves hunkering down inside classrooms and leaping from first floor windows as an active shooting situation unfolded on site.
Inside the science building, a faculty member was found shot dead.
Just days into the start of a new term, students and faculty members at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found themselves barricaded inside classrooms after a gunamn shot and killed a faculty member. Rachel Sharp reports
UNC chancellor says Yan was ‘beloved colleague’
UNC at Chapel Hill Kevin M Guskiewicz said in a statement on Tuesday that he has met with the family of slain assistant professor Zajie Yan.
“[Mr Yan] was a beloved colleague, mentor and friend to many on our campus. My leadership team and I have met with his colleagues and family to express our condolences on behalf of our campus,” the statement read. “Please join me in thinking and praying for his family and loved ones during this difficult time.”
Tailei Qi posted online about grievances with bullies
UNC shooting suspect’s social media complaints about murdered faculty member revealed
A University of North Carolina PhD student shared several posts on social media complaining about his academic adviser before allegedly shooting him dead in the science lab and plunging the Chapel Hill campus into lockdown.
The Independent’s Rachel Sharp reports:
Tailei Qi complained about his head of lab in posts on X, formerly known as Twitter, before Monday’s shooting
Slain professor Zinjie Yan’s alma mater issues statement
The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where Yan got his master’s in physics electronics, posted a tribute on Tuesday.
“He is remembered fondly by many of us that met him in the classroom, lab, or in the hallway of MRC,” a Facebook post read. “Among other things, he distinguished himself with publishing 17 journal articles in the course of his PhD study...”
UNC at Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin M Guskiewicz said in a statement on Tuesday that he has met with Yan’s family.
“My leadership team and I have met with his colleagues and family to express our condolences on behalf of our campus,” the statement read. “Please join me in thinking and praying for his family and loved ones during this difficult time.”
Who is UNC shooting suspect Tailei Qi?
The suspect was identified on Tuesday as Tailei Qi, a graduate student who joined the Yan Lab of the college in 2022.
Based on his online bio at the UNC, he studied under Dr Zijie Yan – the leader of the physical chemistry group the Yan Research Group and head of the Department of Applied Physical Sciences.
Before joining UNC, Mr Qi previously studied material science at Louisiana State University and physics at Wuhan University.
A Twitter account believed to belong to Mr Qi reveals that he had railed against his work and his head of lab as well as what he described as “bullies” in the US before allegedly carrying out the shooting.
In a post on 1 August 2022, he wrote: “Bully in america seems to be a problem. It often comes with people not stopping them at the first time.
“Explanation is not a solution but makes them feel others will plead them every time they raise a problem, making them voyeur to find an excuse day and night.”
Two weeks later on 18 August 2022, he tweeted about his “PI” – referring to his unnamed head of lab – handling “these girls and tattletales”.
“Just have a talk with my PI and get his promise. He should have more experience to handle with these girls and tattletales,” he wrote.
“Then, we can just get ourselves out of these stupid topic. Let’s just focus our attention on nature.I won’t change anything if not necessary.”