UNC Chapel Hill professor killed in office was shot 7 times, medical examiner says


(CHAPEL HILL, N.C.) — The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill professor found dead in his office on campus in August was shot seven times, according to the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Zijie Yan, an associate professor in the department of Applied Physical Sciences at the College of Arts and Sciences, suffered wounds to the head, face and neck, left arm and chest, abdomen, a graze wound to the right upper arm, and a graze wound to the left hand and left forearm in the Aug. 28 shooting, according to an autopsy report.

Police responding to the scene found Yan on the floor of his office. Campus police then put the school on lockdown, according to the investigation report.

After a brief search, the suspect, Tailei Qi, was found and arrested. Qi was charged with first-degree murder and misdemeanor possession of a gun on an educational property, police said.

The suspect is still being interviewed by police, according to the investigation report. Authorities have not announced a motive for the shooting.

The medical examiner wrote that he found mixed entry and exit wounds in his right hand, right bicep, left forearm, right neck and multiple wounds around his face and forehead, according to the investigation report.

The manner of death was determined to be homicide, according to the investigation report.

Qi, 34, was a graduate student. Yan was listed as Qi’s academic adviser on the suspect’s profile on the UNC website.

Yan had been working at the university since 2019, according to police.

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