Documents Connect Grad Student to Gun Used to Kill UNC Professor

The U.S. District Court released documents Jan. 18 that showed Tailei Qi, charged with the killing of a professor on campus Aug. 28, purchased the same caliber gun used in the shooting. Qi has denied owning a pistol.

Qi, 34, purchased a 9mm pistol and visited a shooting range the day before the murder of Professor Zijie Yan, according to The News and Observer and WRAL.

Following Qi’s arrest, staff at a shooting range in Wake County contacted law enforcement to report they recognized him. Documents show Qi visited the range Aug. 17 and 27, and that he listed Yan as his emergency contact on filed paperwork, the N&O reported. While at the range, Qi shot a Glock 43x 9mm pistol and bought two boxes of ammunition, according to the documents.

A search warrant of Qi’s apartment was authorized Aug. 29, according to the documents. Investigators found a note on which was written the name of the gun Qi shot at the range next to a username for a peer-to-peer firearm sales website, according to reports. Officials contacted the person behind the username, who identified Qi as the person to whom he sold the gun. The firearm used to kill Yan has not been located. Qi has admitted to shooting at a firing range.

Qi currently faces first-degree murder charges and gun possession charges. In November, the court ruled Qi mentally unfit to stand trial.

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