A University of North Carolina PhD student has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder after allegedly shooting his academic adviser in the campus science lab. Tailei Qi, a 34-year-old graduate student in applied physical sciences, had previously expressed grievances about his adviser on social media platforms. The motive for the shooting is still unclear.
The shooting, which occurred on Monday afternoon, resulted in a lockdown of the Chapel Hill campus. Law enforcement arrived on the scene within minutes, and the campus was placed under lockdown while they searched for the suspect. The wrong person was briefly arrested before the authorities released an image of Mr. Qi as a person of interest.
Police confirmed that a suspect had been arrested in a residential area near the campus, and the lockdown was subsequently lifted. The gun used in the shooting has not been recovered.
In online posts, Mr. Qi expressed frustrations with his academic adviser and complained about various issues, including bullies, workloads, and privacy concerns. His posts also included cryptic messages about his treatment an unnamed boss and his exhaustion with his workload. It is unclear if any of these grievances directly contributed to the shooting.
Dr. Zijie Yan, the faculty member who was killed, headed the Department of Applied Physical Sciences and led the Yan Research Group. Mr. Qi joined the research group when he started his graduate program at UNC in 2022.
The University of North Carolina campus is now focusing on understanding the motive behind the shooting and preventing such incidents in the future. UNC Police Chief Brian James stated that they want to learn from this incident and ensure the safety of the campus community.
– The Independent