Ming Qu and Ying Wu, two graduate students studying electrical engineering at USC, were killed today in the West Adams district of Los Angeles. Reuters reports:
Police described the students as a man and woman, both Chinese USC students in their 20s, and said they found the woman shot dead inside a BMW parked at a curb in a Los Angeles neighborhood not far from the private university. The man was found outside the car.
“Apparently he tried to get out of the car,” police spokesman Richard French said. He described the area as “gang-infested.”
The Los Angeles Times reported carjacking as a possible motive, but police said the motive was under investigation.
An AP has more details from the scene of the crime:
Ying Wu and Ming Qu were sitting in the luxury car at about 1 a.m. when the gunman fired, shattering the windows. Qu was wounded but managed to run to a nearby home, where he pounded on the door pleading for help, police said.[…]Police said the shooting may have been a robbery or a carjacking attempt of the dark-colored, $60,000 BMW. Witnesses said the car was in the roadway, not at the curb, at the time of the shooting.[…]Qu managed to get out of the car and run to a nearby home, where he pounded on the door, police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said. It wasn’t known if anyone answered the door before the man collapsed.[…]Beatriz Moreno, who lives across the street with her family from where the shooting occurred, said the neighborhood has been cleaned up. She said the last shooting she could remember on her street was in 2003.”We used to see this every day,” she said. “There are mostly families here. This is not normal.”
Another AP article, via HuffPost, mentions the growing trend to study abroad amongst China’s financially able, and how this occurrence might make parents uneasy about sending their children to the U.S.:
At USC, the international student presence is enormous – it has the largest number of any university in the U.S. Roughly 19 percent of the school’s 38,000 students are from overseas, including 2,500 from China.
And some students said the shooting could be a cautionary tale for others who want to study overseas.
“If parents hear about this in China, it might affect their decision,” said Chrissy Yao, a Chinese-American who moved to the U.S. when she was 10 and is a senior engineering student. “Since two lives were lost, I think concerns will remain for quite a while.”
In an email to USC students and staff Wednesday about the slaying of two graduate students near campus, university officials said they are “saddened and outraged by this callous and meaningless act” and they were “working aggressively” to solve the crime.
[…]”This incident occurred outside the neighborhood areas where over the past several years we have steadily increased our security presence, adding dozens of security and license plate recognition cameras, uniformed officers, and yellow-jacketed security ambassadors,” said the email from Michael L. Jackson, vice president of student affairs, and Todd Dickey, senior vice president of administration.
“However, tragedies such as this morning’s remind us that we all need to be continuously vigilant about safety and security,” it continued.
[…]Officials said they are offering counseling for students and will provide information on remembrances for the slain students.