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UNC Graduate Student Charged With Murder For Allegedly Shooting Professor

The graduate student who allegedly shot and killed a professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (UNC) on Monday has been charged with murder, according to NBC News.

Tailei Qi, a doctoral candidate in applied physics at UNC, allegedly shot a member of the faculty at the university’s Caudill Labs on Monday afternoon. Qi was arrested on Monday afternoon following a manhunt in the UNC area and charged with first-degree murder, according to NBC News.

“We certainly want the opportunity to interview the suspect,” UNC Police Chief Brian James said at a press conference on Monday. “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.”

Qi is being held by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Hillsborough, North Carolina, NBC reported. It is unclear whether he has been arraigned before a judge and whether a bond has been posted.

After Qi allegedly shot the faculty member, the university was placed on lockdown for several hours until police lifted the order at 4:15 PM. Qi was first identified as a “person of interest” by police during the lockdown, with his photograph being released to the public at 2:35 PM.

The faculty member Qi allegedly shot was identified as Dr. Zijie Yan, a Chinese-born associate professor of applied physical sciences at UNC, according to WECT News. Yan was Qi’s academic advisor.

Qi is a graduate of Wuhan University in China, according to his LinkedIn profile page.

UNC, the UNC Police and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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