Clarkson University mourns shooting death of former professor

Published: Aug. 30, 2023 at 3:10 PM EDT
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POTSDAM, New York (WWNY) - Clarkson University is mourning the death of a former professor who was killed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Zijie Yan was gunned down by a UNC graduate student on Monday.

Yan was an assistant professor of chemical & biomolecular engineering at Clarkson from 2015 to 2019.

“The Clarkson community is devastated to learn of the passing of Dr. Zijie Yan,” said Bill Jemison, dean of the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering at Clarkson in a statement. “Dr. Yan was a beloved member of our faculty and made lasting impressions on the many students and colleagues with whom he interacted. On behalf of the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering and the entire Clarkson University community, I offer our sincerest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Dr. Yan.”

Authorities said a 34-year-old UNC graduate student walked into a classroom building and shot Yan, who was his faculty adviser and then left.

The attack led to a roughly three-hour lockdown on the UNC campus.

Tailei Qi was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder.

Investigators are still trying to determine a motive for the attack and are still searching for the gun used to kill Yan.

No one else was hurt.