Yale mourns killing of School of the Environment student

The university community and the city of New Haven grieve the sudden and tragic loss of Kevin Jiang, a master’s student in environmental science.
Harkness Tower

(Illustration by Eri Griffin)

The New Haven Police Department is investigating the Saturday night killing of a Yale graduate student, which it is treating as a homicide.

Kevin Jiang, a second-year master’s student at the Yale School of the Environment (YSE), was shot and killed on Lawrence Street between Nicoll and Nash in the city’s East Rock neighborhood. Police are actively working to apprehend the person or people responsible.

I have spoken with Kevin’s mother to express my sincere condolences,” President Peter Salovey said Sunday. “He was an extraordinary young man, and his loss is a shocking and senseless tragedy for his family, for all who loved him, and for our community.”

Salovey, who also wrote to the Yale community Sunday, said that he and New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker were in touch throughout the night Saturday.

We will continue to focus on the security and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and neighbors,” Salovey said.

The School of the Environment hosted an informal virtual community gathering at 3 p.m. Sunday. Details about additional remembrance events for Jiang will be posted on the school’s website.

Shortly after 8:30 p.m. Saturday, New Haven police responded to callers reporting the sound of multiple gunshots and a person shot near the intersection of Nash and Lawrence Streets, Yale Police Chief Ronnell Higgins said Sunday. Witnesses told police they saw a shiny new black vehicle flee the scene.

I have been in direct contact with New Haven Police Chief Tony Reyes, who confirmed that the investigation into Kevin’s death is very active, and that NHPD is following up on several leads,” Higgins said. “Police have been working through the night and this morning.”

Higgins said Yale Police detectives often work closely with New Haven Police detectives, and he has offered full YPD support for NHPD’s efforts.

Individuals who have information about the shooting should call the New Haven Police at (203) 946-6316 or Yale Police at (203) 432-4400. Anonymous tips may be sent through the university’s Live Safe app. Register for the app.

Kevin Jiang
Kevin Jiang

Jiang, who was from Chicago, came to Yale after spending two years in environmental consulting, helping food and steel manufacturers comply with local and federal environmental regulations. At YSE, his research focused on tracking mercury levels of fish in the Quinnipiac River Watershed, work that would help inform fish consumption advisories. Jiang was a veteran of the U.S. Army, which he served as a tank operator and as a chemical, biological, radiation, nuclear officer, and he was a member of the Army National Guard. He graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in environmental studies, and expected to complete his master’s degree in environmental science at Yale in fall 2021.

I know this tragedy comes during a year that has already been filled with so much sorrow,” School of the Environment Dean Indy Burke wrote Sunday in her own message. “Please know that we in our school stand ready to support you. I am so sorry that this is coming at a time that we cannot gather in person to console each other… [The virtual] gathering will allow us to listen, grieve, and simply be together during this terribly difficult time.”

Yale is offering grief counseling through Yale Mental Health & Counseling, and additional support through the Office of the University Chaplain.

This is a difficult loss for our community, and the coming days, weeks, and months will be challenging as we grieve together,” Burke wrote.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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Media Contact

Karen N. Peart: karen.peart@yale.edu, 203-980-2222