Haiyang Zhu Accused of Decapitating Student With Kitchen Knife

Xin Yang
Just days after arriving at Virginia Tech to work on her graduate studies, 22-year-old Chinese student Xin Yang was decapitated with a kitchen knife as she sat in a public cafe.

Somewhere around 7 p.m. Jan. 21, Yang was allegedly murdered by Haiyang Zhu, a man whose motivations are still unclear. Witnesses report that Yang and Zhu were not arguing before Zhu plunged his knife into the young student as they sat together at the Au Bon Pain cafe on the Virginia Tech campus.
Haiyang Zhu

Authorities reported at a press conference Thursday that seven people witnessed the murder and two called 911. Campus police were reportedly on the scene in just over one minute and arrested Zhu without incident.

From the Roanoke Times:
Haiyang Zhu, 25, a graduate student from China, was charged late Wednesday with first-degree murder and is being held without bond. He is a Ph.D. graduate student majoring in agricultural and applied economics. He began his studies at Virginia Tech at the start of the 2008 fall semester. Tech officials said the victim and suspect knew each other and Yang listed Zhu as an emergency contact...

When authorities arrived less than two minutes later, they discovered Yang's dead body, Zhu and a large kitchen knife that they believe is the murder weapon. Zhu did not resist arrest.
It's hard to read this without immediately thinking about April 16, 2007, when rampaging gunman Seung-Hui Cho shot 32 students and faculty on the Virginia Tech campus before taking his own life. That tragedy led to the implementation of several safety precautions on the Virginia Tech campus, and is largely responsible for the messages that were quickly sent out to Tech students and faculty.
The campus alert system put in place in response to the school shootings sent messages to 30,000 subscribers by e-mail, text messages and telephone calls Wednesday night, said university spokesman Larry Hincker.

It's a horrific fate for the university to have to go through such a traumatic event yet again, but judging by the fast response time and the quick dissemination of accurate information, it seems as if Virginia Tech actually does have a more secure campus than it had in 2007.
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