Princeton’s campus, photographed in 2021.
Princeton University, Office of Communications, Denise Applewhite

Editor’s note: This article was updated on April 15 when the Middlesex County Medical Examiner's Office released Li's autopsy report. If you or someone you know may have suicidal thoughts, you can call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or chat online at This story has been updated with new information.

James Li ’27 was fatally struck by the Princeton Dinky shuttle on Friday, Feb. 16, according to

Li died at the NJ Transit crossing on Faculty Road, according to an email to the campus community from Princeton University Vice President for Campus Life W. Rochelle Calhoun. It was later determined by the Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office that Li died by suicide.

The incident is under investigation, she wrote, and an article cited a NJ Transit spokesperson who said the agency’s police are investigating.

Calhoun’s email said that a remembrance was being planned, and a gathering would be held on Saturday, Feb. 17, at Yeh College, Li’s residential college. 

The Daily Princetonian and reported that Li died after being struck by the Princeton Dinky shuttle at the Faculty Road crossing around 2:15 p.m. The Prince also reported that Li attended Princeton High School. 

The reports indicate that no passengers or crew on the train were injured. The Dinky is the shortest scheduled commuter rail line in the nation, with one stop across from the Lewis Center for the Arts and the other at Princeton Junction Station.

Li is the second freshman to die this academic year; Sophia Jones ’27 died by suicide on Nov. 29. A total of seven Princeton students — six undergraduates and one graduate student — have died since May 2022.