Former MIT student pleads guilty to murder of Yale student

ByNadine El-Bawab ABCNews logo
Friday, March 1, 2024

Former Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate student Qinxuan Pan pleaded guilty Thursday to the 2021 murder of Yale graduate student Kevin Jiang.

Pan faces up to 35 years in prison when he is sentenced on April 25, according to the New Haven state's attorney office.

On Feb. 6, 2021, New Haven police found Jiang suffering multiple gunshot wounds on a city street near Yale's campus. He was later pronounced dead.

After a three-month search for Pan, he was found in Alabama and extradited back to Connecticut.

Prior to a warrant being put out for his arrest, Pan was named as a person of interest in the case after he was accused of stealing a car and swapping the plates on the day of the murder.

Pan allegedly stole a blue 2015 GMC Terrain from a car dealership in Massachusetts just hours before the murder. Pan had gone to the dealership asking to test drive the car and drove off with it at 11 a.m., according to a warrant application for Pan.

A salesman said he texted Pan at about 3:30 p.m. to inquire about returning the car, and Pan responded asking if he could return it after-hours due to a family emergency. The salesman said he texted Pan that the car needed to be returned before the dealership closed but Pan did not respond, according to the warrant application.

The car was towed in New Haven after it got stuck on railroad tracks. When police tried to ask Pan where he was staying, he fled the scene, according to the warrant application.

A motive for the killing remains unknown.

Jiang was a former member of the Army National Guard and had recently gotten engaged, according to Yale's president.

ABC News' Morgan Winsor, Marlene Lenthang and Julia Jacobo contributed to this report.

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