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Chinese student among 3 dead in Chicago shootings

By LIA ZHU in San Francisco | China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-01-11 13:27
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A shooting rampage on Saturday that started in Chicago has left at least three victims dead, including a Chinese student.

Seven people were shot in the hours-long shooting spree that started on the South Side of the city and ended in Evanston, Illinois, around 12 miles north.

Four of the victims were in critical condition. The suspect, identified as Jason Nightengale, 32, was shot and killed by police after a shootout in Evanston.

The first victim of the crime was a University of Chicago postgraduate student. The shooting happened just before 2 pm on Saturday in a parking garage at an apartment complex, according to the Chicago Police Department.

The university on Sunday confirmed that Fan Yiran, a 30-year-old PhD student from China, was shot and killed. He was in his fourth year in a joint program of the Booth School of Business and the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics. He was hoping to propose his dissertation later this year, according to the university.

“This sudden and senseless loss of life causes us indescribable sorrow,” President Robert J. Zimmer and Provost Ka Yee C. Lee said in a statement. “In the days ahead we will come together as a community to mourn, and to lift up fellow members of our community in this difficult and very sad time.”

The university said it has notified Fan’s family and will share memorial information later.

Fan graduated from Peking University with a bachelor’s degree in finance in 2012. He then came to the United States and earned a master’s degree in financial mathematics at the University of Chicago in 2015, according to his Linkedin account.

Minutes after Fan’s death, another person was shot in an apartment building a few blocks away. The suspect asked to use a phone before opening fire. The victim was pronounced dead in the hospital.

A 77-year-old woman who was inside the building retrieving mail also was shot. She was taken to the hospital in critical condition, police said.

Around 2:45 pm, Nightengale drove off in the vehicle of one of his victims, police said. About an hour later, he entered a convenience store and fired shots, striking a 20-year-old man in the head, who later died in the hospital.

An 81-year-old woman inside the store was shot in the back and the neck and was transported to the hospital in critical condition, according to police.

At approximately 5 pm, the suspect fired shots from an unknown location, striking a 15-year-old girl in the head as she rode in the back seat of a car her mom was driving. The girl was in critical condition; her mother was not injured.

Around 5:40 pm, the suspect shot a woman he reportedly took hostage at an IHOP restaurant in Evanston before police arrived.

Nightengale then led police on a chase, and they exchanged gunfire before he was killed by police in a Dollar General parking lot.

The woman taken hostage was shot in the neck and was in critical condition, police said.

“But for the brave conduct of Evanston police officers, many more people would have been injured,” Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown told the Chicago Sun-Times.

In a video that Nightengale posted on social media hours before the deadly attacks, he can be heard talking about how he wanted to kill someone.

Nightengale had a record of arrests and prosecutions beginning in 2005 for gun and drug violations, criminal trespass, theft, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, reckless conduct and domestic violence, according to ABC 7.

In the first 10 days of this year, at least 19 mass shootings have been recorded in the US by the Gun Violence Archive website, resulting in 18 deaths and 83 injured. Gun violence killed a total of 43,379 people in the US in 2020, according to the website.

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