DA: Man ran down, fatally shot nephew after being denied restraining order


A 44-year-old Arlington man is charged with murdering his nephew behind a Medford courthouse after a judge denied his request to renew his restraining order against the 23-year-old relative.

Chenghai Xue was arrested in the parking lot of Cambridge District Court Thursday.

Investigators say Xue hopped into his car after the hearing and ran down his nephew before shooting him.

“After the car hit his nephew, Mr. Xue exited the car with a handgun, leaned over his nephew and shot him multiple times,” Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan said in a news conference Thursday night. “The victim was later pronounced dead on scene.”

Bill Barabino, the attorney who had been representing Xue in his protection order case, told Boston 25 News he had heard the gunshots but thought it was noise from nearby construction. When he witnessed the commotion, he rushed to his client’s side.

“I just kind of looked at a dead body over here and my client here,” Barabino said at the scene Thursday. “And I just kind of I knew the police would want to have [Xue]. So, I just kind of gently restrained him. Just held him there with my knee and rubbed his back.”

Ryan said at least part of the crime was captured on courthouse security cameras.

Neither Barabino nor investigators detailed the reason for the initial restraining order that was granted.

Investigators have not yet identified the victim, saying only he had been living in Revere.

Xue, a father of two who immigrated to the U.S., from China in 2008 for work and study, had completed a post-doctorate research program at Harvard University and accomplished much in statistics, including analysis of data involving cancer patients, according to Barabino in court documents.

Xue has no prior record, the attorney said.

“He didn’t exhibit any signs of distress. And in talking to him, you’d think he’s very kind, polite, appropriate, respectful person,” Barabino said of Xue’s demeanor prior to the incident. “Obviously, he was building stuff up inside none of us knew about.”

Xue will be arraigned in Somerville District Court Friday.

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