Photo of Fox News report with a tagline of UNC suspect’s details has been digitally altered

By: Umme Kulsum
August 30 2023

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Photo of Fox News report with a tagline of UNC suspect’s details has been digitally altered


The Verdict False

This Fox News chyron has been digitally edited. The news portal did not describe the UNC suspect as ‘mostly white Asian male.’

Claim ID 6b7421c3

What's the claim?

On August 28, 2023, a University of North Carolina (UNC) graduate student shot his faculty adviser in a classroom, who died. A day later, on August 29, the suspect was arrested by the authorities and was charged with first-degree murder. According to a report by CNN, the man was identified as Tailei Qi, a graduate student. Numerous news outlets widely reported this incident.

Following this, a screengrab of a Fox News broadcast that read, "Breaking News: Shooter Described as "Mostly White Asian Male" began circulating on social media with an image of the UNC suspect. An X user shared the image with the caption, "BREAKING: Shooter from the UNC Campus shooting on Monday identified as Chinese Ph.D. candidate Tailei Qi, who shot and killed his academic advisor due to personal conflicts. Also described by liberal media as "mostly white Asian male" lmao." The post got 13,000 views. This screengrab image showing Fox News' tagline is widely circulating across social media platforms, including Facebook.

(Source: X/@AZNsAgainstWoke/ Altered by Logically Facts)

However, this image has been digitally manipulated.

What did we find? 

Logically Facts came across the original Fox News coverage of this incident that was uploaded on YouTube on August 29, 2023, with a title that read, "Police release picture of a person of interest in college lockdown situation." After analyzing this report, we found that the photo of the suspect shown in the viral post is real, but the chyron has been digitally manipulated to create a narrative around the race of the man. The original chyron reads, "UNC police release picture of person of interest." The reporter describing the suspect says, "Asian male with close-cropped hair." This can be heard at the timestamp of 0:08 seconds into the video.

Comparison of screenshots from Fox News Coverage and the viral image (Source: Fox News YouTube, X/@AZNsAgainstWoke)

Additionally, we also came across a Fox News article that was published on August 29. Fox News used the term "Asian man" throughout the report, not "white Asian male."

On August 28, in the early hours of the afternoon, the shooting took place at the school's Caudill Laboratories, a chemistry studies building at the University of North Carolina. According to a report by PBS, police are still looking for a motive behind the fatal shooting. On August 29, UNC Police released the suspect's photo on their official X account with the caption, "This photo shows a person of interest in today's armed and dangerous person situation. If you see this person, keep your distance, put your safety first and call 911."

This is not the first time that Fox News has been falsely accused of editing details about a suspect. In April 2023, Reuters debunked a similar story related to the manipulation of a suspect's race who was accused of killing a man in Pennsylvania. 

 Logically Facts has reached out to Fox News; the story will be updated if we receive a response.

 The verdict

A screenshot from a Fox 8 News report on the UNC shooting suspect's details has been digitally edited to include the words "Mostly White Asian Male." Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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