Chinese grad student decapitated by knife at Virginia Tech
Published: Thursday January 22, 2009

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A female Chinese graduate student has been decapitated by a fellow student at Virginia Tech, the scene of the worst school shooting in US history in 2007, police said Thursday.

At approximately 7:00 pm Wednesday (0000 GMT Thursday), Xin Yang, a 22-year-old graduate student from Beijing, was killed at an Au Bon Pain cafe on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, university officials said.

They added that emergency contact records suggest that Yang and the student who murdered her, Haiyang Zhu from Ningbo, China, knew each other. According to officials, witnesses said Zhu, 25, attacked Yang with a knife.

"There were seven witnesses in the cafe. There had been no argument, no shouting" when the young woman was attacked, said Virginia Tech spokesman Mark Owczarski, confirming that Yang and been decapitated.

"This is horrible and tragic. Especially when we know that Virginia Tech has got its share of hardship and horror."

In April 2007, Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old Virginia Tech student born in South Korea, shot 32 fellow classmates and teachers to death before killing himself.

"The tragic attack on campus this week has no doubt revived terrible memories for countless members of the Hokie family," Virginia Governor Tim Kaine said in a statement offering his condolences.

Zhu was charged with first-degree murder and was being held at a county jail. He had not had a record with university or local police, the school indicated.

Yang had arrived at Virginia Tech in early January to begin studies in accounting. Zhu was a PhD graduate student in agriculture and applied economics.

The following video was published by the Associated Press, Jan. 22, 2009.

With wire reports.