Trinity Baptist Pastor Greg Hendrickson was planning on officiating slain Yale graduate student Kevin Jiang’s wedding in the near future, but instead he had to officiate his funeral Saturday afternoon.
“Kevin’s life was taken from us in a moment, and our city mourned its sixth homicide in as many weeks,” Hendrickson said at the funeral. “What do we make of this? What do we make of a human being who radiated light and joy, but whose life was snatched away on a dark night in a violent attack?”
Jiang, a 26-year-old Army veteran and graduate student at Yale’s School of the Environment, was shot and killed Sunday after being involved in a car accident.
Jiang’s mother, Linda Liu, said her son’s life was “short, but colorful.”
“Kevin lived full-heartedly, enthusiastically, like a ray of sunlight,” she said at the funeral Saturday. “He gave so much joy and happiness to me and to the people around us.”
His father, Mingchen Jiang, said he realizes now that “Kevin himself is an angel.”
“His mission to this world is to deliver love,” Mingchen Jiang said. “He is remembered as one who would ask, ‘How can I help?’ Love is the word Kevin used most often.”
The police have not announced any suspects in the case, but have identified 29-year-old Qinxuan Pan, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher, as a person of interest.
The U.S. Marshals Service is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Pan, who was last seen in an Atlanta suburb Thursday morning “carrying a black backpack and acting strange,” according to the New York Times.
Pan visited car dealerships in Massachusetts and Connecticut looking for a small model SUV on the day of the shooting, according to police.
New Haven Police Chief Otoniel Reyes said Wednesday that Pan is wanted on a warrant for possession of a stolen vehicle and should be considered armed and dangerous,
Jiang had just gotten engaged to his girlfriend, Zion Perry, a week before he was killed, and was set to celebrate his 27th birthday on Sunday.
Perry graduated from MIT with a degree in biological engineering last year and is currently enrolled in a graduate program at Yale.
She attended MIT at the same time as Pan, who has been enrolled in a graduate program at the school since 2014, though police have not said whether there is any connection between the two.
“What I can tell you at this time is that we are exploring every angle in relation to this investigation and related to [every] person involved,” New Haven Police Chief Otoniel Reyes said Wednesday. “At this point, we’re not prepared to tell you what our information is regarding their involvement and whether or not there is a connection between that and this investigation. What we can tell you is that we are exploring that.”
Anyone with information about the case should contact New Haven police at 1-866-888-TIPS or via email to ECIC@newhavenct.gov.
Fox News’ Danielle Wallace and Michael Ruiz contributed to this report, as well as The Associated Press.