Tailei Qi, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Ph.D. student charged in the fatal shooting of an associate professor on Monday afternoon, appeared in court for the first time on Tuesday.
Qi allegedly murdered Zijie Yan, an associate professor in the Department of Applied Physical Sciences, with a 9mm pistol Monday afternoon, prompting a lockdown on UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus as students began their first week of classes.
The 34-year-old Chinese citizen, who is charged with first-degree murder and possession of a gun on educational property, appeared in an orange jumpsuit in an Orange County courtroom on Tuesday afternoon.
An Orange County judge denied bond for the suspect and set a probable cause hearing for Monday, Sept. 18.
UNC Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz described the faculty loss as “devastating” during a Monday press conference, saying, “This shooting damages the trust and safety that we so often take for granted in our campus community.”
Authorities have not said if Qi specifically targeted Yan and have not revealed a motive behind the killing. No other injuries were reported. Qi was a Ph.D. student and in the same research group as Yan, according to the school’s website.
Authorities said shots were fired around 1 p.m. at Caudill Laboratories on Monday, where Yan was apparently found dead in a lab building. Qi was taken into police custody around 2:30 p.m.
The university canceled classes for the remainder of Monday and through Tuesday.
Qi faces life in prison if convicted.
Fox News’ Louis Casiano and Mark Meredith contributed to this report.