Spate of gun violence in New Haven includes shooting death of Yale graduate student

Jesse Leavenworth, Hartford Courant
·2 min read

A burst of gun violence in New Haven over the past several days, including the shooting death of a Yale University graduate student and shots fired at a school administrator’s home, prompted an angry statement from the mayor Sunday.

“We, as a community, will not stand for this,” Mayor Justin Elicker said, “and we will be relentless in efforts to provide justice for all of the victims, their families and loved ones.”

Yale School of Environment student Kevin Jiang of West Haven, who was just short of his 27th birthday, was gunned down on Saturday, the city’s sixth homicide victim of 2021. The shooting happened on Lawrence Street between Nicoll and Nash streets at about 8:30 p.m., police said.

On Friday at about 7:30 p.m., Assistant School Superintendent Paul Whyte was home with his family when shots struck his house. No one was hurt, but police say a gunman in a sport utility vehicle fired multiple times. Police said the motive is unknown.

Elicker said the incident is “a reminder that, with crime on the rise nationally and in our city, bullets have no name.”

“This stresses the important work we are doing as a city to stop gun violence in both the short-term and long-term,” Elicker said.

On Thursday afternoon, police recovered a stolen vehicle that had been taken in a carjacking several hours earlier. At about 8 a.m., a public schools employee had arrived for work at 360 Columbus Ave. and parked her vehicle, when a gunman took her car keys and other belongings, police said. Police say there is no indication the robbery is related to the shots fired case at Whyte’s home.

Police ask anyone with information on the crimes to call 203-946-6304. Callers may remain anonymous, or submit tips anonymously by calling 1-866-888-TIPS (1-866-888-8477).

Police Chief Otoniel Reyes said, “Our department is working around the clock to solve these most recent acts of violence. We will bring all of our resources to bear to ensure the safety of our city.”

Police have scheduled a press conference for Monday at 11 a.m. to provide updates on the homicide and other incidents.

Jesse Leavenworth can be reached at jleavenworth@courant.com