Yiran Fan, a 30-year-old Ph.D. student from Beijing, China, was the first person shot in deadly rampage Saturday that began on Chicago's South Side and ended in Evanston.
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Classmates and professors paused to remember him.
"As a student, what really stood out, not only was he a brilliant student, he really viewed the pursuit of knowledge and science as a community thing," Professor Lars Peter Hansen said.
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Fan was recognized as exceptional, smart, and outstanding.
"We will always remember him, remember him for who he was as a wonderful individual. And remember him for his talents and accomplishments," U of C President Robert Zimmer said.
Fan's parents were at the vigil. While they did not speak, they heard stories about how Fan helped so many other students.
"He was so enthusiastic about teaching, that many of us felt he was one of the most outstanding teaching assistants we ever had," classmate Yusheng Fei said.
"We want to let others know he was such a positive, loving person, loved by everyone," said Zhonglin Li, a friend and classmate.
Fan was shot in a parking garage Saturday. Police said Jason Nightengale killed three people, including Fan, and shot four others. Nightengale died in a shootout with Evanston police.
It was a violent ending for someone who will be remembered for so much more.
"He was a very nice person, quiet, unassuming, but incredibly thoughtful. Like I said, he will be missed, but not forgotten," Hansen said.