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UPDATED April 12: Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Medford Chief of Police Jack Buckley confirmed that Chenghai Xue, 44, has been charged with murder in connection with fatally shooting his nephew, a 23-year-old Revere man, outside the Cambridge District Courthouse in Medford, YourArlington Patch reported.

A not guilty plea was entered on Xue’s behalf in Somerville District Court, and his court-appointed lawyer didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment from The Boston Globe on Friday, April 8. Xue appears to live at 35 Forest St., Arlington.

The victim's name was not released during the arraignment. In a statement from the district attorney's office, the preliminary investigation "suggests that Mr. Xue and the victim had been at the courthouse for a hearing, where Mr. Xue was seeking an extension of a restraining order against his nephew."

Less than 24 hours earlier, the Globe reported, Xue and his nephew, Cong Wang, had appeared on opposite sides of the court in Medford, where a judge had declined to extend a restraining order Xue had filed against his nephew, who’d previously had a romantic relationship with Xue’s former wife, legal filings show.


Globe, April 12: Victim remembered as star NU student


Allegedly rammed by car, shot

After the hearing, both men left the courthouse on Mystic Valley Parkway and headed to the parking lot where they were both parked.

"The suspect then allegedly got into his vehicle and drove at the victim hitting him as well as other vehicles in the parking lot," Ryan said. "After striking the victim, the suspect allegedly exited the vehicle in possession of a handgun and shot the victim multiple times."

Ryan added that Xue did have a license to carry a gun, and that video footage of the incident is being reviewed be authorities.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

A witness called 911 at approximately 4:50 p.m. Massachusetts State Police and Medford Police immediately responded, the DA's office said, and the defendant was placed into custody.

A Middlesex Sheriff's office correction officer and court officers from the Massachusetts Trial Court were also on scene, according to Ryan.

Assistant DA comments

The Globe reported that Assistant Middlesex District Attorney Ceara Mahoney said during Friday’s brief arraignment that Medford police were alerted around 4:50 p.m. Thursday to gunshots at the Cambridge District Court located on Mystic Valley Parkway in Medford.

Mahoney said responding officers initially observed what appeared to be a vehicular accident in the back parking lot, directly in front of the prisoner bay of the courthouse. Police saw a white Chevy Equinox that appeared to have struck a black Toyota Rav4. Both vehicles had visible damage, and s

police then saw the victim lying face up directly next to rear driver’s side wheel well of the Rav4.

“The victim’s face was covered in blood,” Mahoney was quoted by the Globe. “Officers were unable to detect a pulse, and he was pronounced deceased on the scene.”

Mahoney said police saw a black firearm next to the victim in a locked back position and spent shell casings in the immediate vicinity. Seven or eight feet behind the gun, Mahoney said, police saw Xue lying on his stomach with his hands and legs extended out.

Xue’s next hearing is scheduled for May 4.

Hostile messages

The court records cited by the Globe included English translations of hostile text messages Wang had allegedly sent to Xue’s former wife in August 2020, in which he wrote, “I will kill your family. If I don’t kill your family, I will commit suicide.” He also allegedly texted, “I have no dignity now,” and “I am the walking dead,” while lamenting that his “future was ruined by you,” legal filings show.

Court records cited by the Globe show Xue and the mother of his two children divorced in 2019, when the couple was living in Arlington, citing an “irreparable breakdown” in their marriage. The couple had wed in China in 2006.

Xue had also said in an affidavit related to the restraining order case that he “used to be a postdoc” at Harvard University, and that his “work is to analyze cancer patient’s data for cancer diagnosis.” Harvard confirmed Friday that Xue’s appointment at the university began Dec. 1, 2010, and ended June 30, 2011.

Xue said on his LinkedIn page that he was a postdoctoral fellow during that period at Harvard’s Department of Statistics.

WCVB reports

In a WCVB news report, William Barabino, the attorney who represented the person accused of shooting his nephew on an unrelated charge, said that his client had taken out a restraining order against his nephew several years earlier, and Thursday's court proceeding was to renew the order.

Barabino said that restraining order was not renewed in a court hearing earlier that afternoon.\

According to the attorney, the defendant hit his nephew with his car. He also said both men were originally from China.

This is an active and ongoing investigation being conducted by the Middlesex District Attorney's Office, Massachusetts State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney's Office and Medford Police.


This news summary was published Friday, April 8, 2022, and updated April 12, to add link to victim.