Suspect charged following murder at Graduate Life Center
January 21, 2009
On Wednesday, Jan 21, at 7:06 p.m., Virginia Tech Police received a 911 call reporting that a female was being assaulted in the cafe at the Graduate Life Center at Donaldson-Brown (the Au Bon Pain restaurant located on the first floor).
Upon arrival at 7:10 p.m., officers encountered the suspect at the crime scene. He was immediately taken into custody.
The suspect is an Asian male graduate student, Haiyang Zhu, age 25, from China.
The victim is an Asian female graduate student. Her identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Virginia Tech Police entered the scene to discover the victim who was deceased. The murder weapon, a knife, was left at the scene and retrieved by police. Zhu was charged with first-degree murder and is being held without bond.
Virginia Tech Police are currently interviewing witnesses. Preliminary indication is that the victim and the suspect knew each other.
The Graduate Life Center first floor is currently secured. Residents of the hall will be allowed to enter and leave their rooms. Others are asked to stay away from the area tonight. The building will be open tomorrow.
Students are reminded that campus counseling resources are available through the Cook Counseling Center (231-6557), the Dean of Students Office (231-3787) and the Graduate Life Center, which will have counselors available beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday morning.
In light of recent events on campus, students are encouraged to stay close to friends and be in contact with one’s family.
If you have any information related to this case, please contact the Virginia Tech Police at 540-231-6411.
As additional information is available, it will be posted to the Virginia Tech homepage.