Updated as of 2:31 Aug. 29 to include details in investigation.

Police have arrested Tailei Qi in connection with the shooting of University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, faculty member Zijie Yan, who was killed on Aug. 28. 

Qi, 34, is a UNC graduate student and was charged with first-degree murder without bond Aug. 29. Yan was an associate professor in the UNC Department of Applied Physical Sciences. On a now deleted page on the university's applied science website, Qi was working with Yan's research group, and Yan was listed as his adviser.

University of North Carolina associate professor Zijie Yan. Yan was shot and killed Aug. 28 in the Caudill Labs on UNC's campus. Photo credit University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

At a press conference held Monday evening, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz announced a faculty member had been killed and the suspect was in custody.

"I hope that you'll join me in praying for the victim, the victim's family and every member of our Carolina community and encourage our community to come together during this difficult time," Guskiewicz said.

At 1:02 p.m., a call from 911 reported shots being fired in the Caudill Labs, according to UNC Chief of Police Brian James. The university sirens sounded and an alert went out to students at 1:03 p.m. 

James said the motive and weapon have not been identified.

The university called for a shelter in place that lasted over three hours, ending when UNC announced an "all clear" at 4:14 p.m., instructing that students could resume normal activities. The university has canceled classes and non-mandatory operations on Aug. 29.

UNC Police identified a person of interest and shared a photo in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, at 2:35 p.m., now confirmed as Qi.

Jack Baddour, a senior at Chapel Hill who transferred from Elon University in 2021, said although he is living off campus, he has friends and co-workers who are currently sheltering in place.

“You can only learn so much from your friends and your classmates because they are in those rooms. … They're there. They're there living it,” Baddour said. “It's hard to hit those messages because you want to be there. You want to be there by their side. You want to make sure they get out there safe, but you can't, you can't be there. And so we're just kind of in a little bit of a stalemate waiting to hear what the big news is like, what the truth is, what's going to happen.”

Baddour said his roommates and him are staying up-to-date through the Alert Carolina system, friends on campus and the news.

“And really to be honest, we just turned on the news. Other than any special information on Alert Carolina, we're just getting straight up what everyone else is getting on the news,” Baddour said. “We're so connected here at Carolina that I've got friends and got classmates and in these classes that are right around where everything's happening.”

This is the second week of classes at Chapel Hill.

“This is a tragic way to start a new semester and the state will provide any assistance necessary to support the UNC community,” Cooper wrote in another post.