USC Murder: Chinese Graduate Students May Have Been Shot, Killed for Their BMW
Update: "Ying Wu and Ming Qu, USC Grad Students From China, Identified as Shooting Victims."
ABC7 Did a car thief in West Adams try to jack this BMW?
A man and a woman murdered in their BMW near the USC campus this morning were graduate students from China, according to the LAPD. They are both thought to have been in their 20s.
Cops found the students suffering from multiple gunshot wounds around 1 a.m., near the intersection of Raymond Avenue and West 27th Street. According to City News Service, the woman was slumped in the passenger seat, while the man...
... lay motionless on the steps of a nearby house. (So he might have been trying to get help.) It appears the car had been in motion, because it was in the middle of Raymond Avenue, riddled with bullets and one window shot out.
The neighborhood surrounding the crime scene includes some student housing -- but it's definitely far enough from campus to be unprotected from the USC "bubble," as some call it.
The LAPD's media relations office tells us that it could have been an attempted carjacking, but "the investigation is still ongoing." If somebody was indeed trying to take the Chinese students' BMW, that would pretty much be the ultimate depiction of wealthy USC at odds with the ghetto on which it sits. [Update: KNX news radio is reporting that the newer-model BMW was worth $45,000.]
"Sad & ironic that a prestigious & expensive schools sits in a low income & violent neighborhood," says a Twitter user named @robnmozangeles.
The homicide rate in West Adams has actually been lower than usual this year, but two student deaths near campus kind of blows any feeling of security of the water.
Captain David Carlisle, head of USC's Deptartment of Public Safety, confirms to the Daily Trojan that the victims were "international students." He calls the midnight murder a "tragic loss."
Here's the "Trojan Alert" that the department sent out to students this morning:
"Wednesday morning, April 11, 2012, two individuals, a male and a female, were shot in a car in front of a residence on Raymond Avenue near 27th Street in Los Angeles. The female victim has been identified as a USC student. Los Angeles Police Department responded immediately to the scene and the victims were taken to California Hospital where they were pronounced dead. Names of the victims are withheld pending notification of next of kin. The circumstances surrounding the shooting are unclear."
Witnesses told police they saw a single assailant fleeing the scene.
UP NEXT: USC students react. Will this change the foreign perception of an education at L.A.'s most prestigious private university? Also, USC officials try to calm everybody down.