NEW HAVEN, Conn. (NewsNation Now) — It’s an Ivy League murder-mystery.
A popular second-year graduate student at Yale University was found murdered off-campus over the weekend, shot multiple times. New Haven police, while appealing for leads, are looking into whether the man may have been deliberately targeted in a case of road rage.
26-year-old Kevin Jiang was a person of faith, a veteran and an active volunteer; described by friends as someone who wanted to use what he learned in environmental studies at Yale to make the world a better place.
He met his fiancé, Zion Perry, at a church retreat on Jan. 30, 2020. Exactly one year later, he proposed. One week after that, he was dead.
“He had a really big heart,” Perry told NewsNation affiliate WTNH. “He always wanted the best for other people.”
“He was involved in so many different things,” she said. “He was in the military, he was a tank driver. God gave him a really amazing life.”
The Connecticut National Guard issued a statement noting Jiang’s service.
“2nd Lt. Jiang believed in service to his community and recently volunteered to support COVID-19 relief efforts,” said Maj. Gen Francis Evon.
Investigators say there are some elements of the case they’re not ready to reveal, but told reporters Monday that Jiang was driving a car that may have been in a collision just before the shooting.
“He suffered multiple gunshot wounds,” said New Haven Police Chief Otoniel Reyes. “And in terms of the proximity, we feel that it’s possible that he was actually targeted.”
“The Yale community is grieving right now,” said university president Peter Salovey. “This is the loss of an extraordinary young man.”
Along with his studies and service to his country, Jiang volunteered at a New Haven homeless shelter, cooking and distributing food.
He would have turned 27 next week.