Just two weeks after arriving at Virginia Tech, a 22-year-old graduate student from China was murdered. The alleged killer decapitated her with a kitchen knife at a local coffee shop.
The news stunned a student population still reeling from the mass shootings that happened in 2007, perhaps the most famous modern geek tragedy.
Xin Yang, a Beijing native, had met her accused attacker, 25-year-old Haiyang Zhu, through the 500-strong Chinese community at VTech. The two attended several functions together, and he was listed on her emergency contacts. But on Wednesday, seemingly apropos of nothing, he pulled out a kitchen knife in a cafe at the Graduate Life Center.
Witnesses said the two had not been arguing before the attack, and that there hadn't been previous signs of trouble between them.
Zhu has been charged with first-degree murder. After the arrest, the campus alert system put in place after Seung-Hui Cho's shootings sent out a notice to about 30,000 subscribers. [AP]