USC Grad Students Killed in Shooting [Updated]
USC administrators announced a $125,000 reward for information about the USC student shooting on West Adams Thursday.
A news conference will make the reward public on Friday at 1 p.m. Anybody who can help identify the person(s) responsible for the murder is encouraged to come forward.
Detectives from LAPD's Criminal Gang Homicide Division, Representatives from the LAPD Command Staff, and USC's administrative staff will attend the news conference.
The two USC students have been identified as Ying Wu, 23, and Ming Qu, 23. Both were graduate students from China studying electrical engineering at the Viterbi School of Engineering.
Officers received a 911 call and found the victims at the 2700 block of Raymond Avenue near West 27th street shortly after 1 a.m.
Authorities are investigating whether they may have been killed in a carjacking attempt.
"[The victims] were parked in their vehicle and an assailant approached them, and fired multiple shots into the vehicle striking both occupants," says LAPD Capt. Andrew Smith.
The woman was found slumped over in the front passenger seat of a BMW while the male was lying on the steps of a nearby house. The car was in the road, away from the curb, and had its windows blown out on both the passenger and driver's sides.
"Right now detectives are canvassing the area...detectives [are] talking to residents that are just waking up, seeing if they saw anything, heard anything, have any additional information for us," says Smith. "So we're hoping we get a tip from somebody, or get some clue that helps break this case open."
The USC student affairs office released a statement in an email sent out to USC students regarding the unfortunate tragedy.
"Our community is saddened and outraged by this callous and meaningless act. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims' families and friends and all who knew them at USC. The university is reaching out to those affected, offering counseling and support," said Michael Jackson, Vice President of Student Affairs.
Congressmember Karen Bass, who represents the 33rd District, expressed sadness over the fatal shooting on her Facebook page.
"I am deeply saddened by last night's tragic deaths of two USC students, but remain confident that authorities are diligently investigating the case to bring justice to the victim's loved ones and sense of calm and stability to the university and its surrounding communities," wrote Bass."While we wait for further details, I encouraged everyone to ensure safety is a top priority in these concerning times."
According to LAPD statistics, West Adams is a low crime area, but in the last four months there have been four homicides in the USC patrol area.
"We want to reassure you about ongoing efforts to promote safety in the neighborhoods around campus, including a public safety task force for students, parents, faculty and staff," says Jackson. "These efforts, among others, have succeeded in significantly improving safety in our surrounding community."
LAPD has since reopened off both sides of the intersection of 27th and Raymond.
If you have any information regarding the shooting, call Southwest Area Homicide at (213) 485-2417. Anonymous calls can be made to Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).
USC is urging anyone who would like counseling or other support to contact the Student Affairs office at (213) 740-2421 or the Student Counseling Services at (213) 740-7711. Other resources are available at Trojans Care for Trojans, you can visit their website by clicking here. For any faculty and staff in need of counseling they can contact the USC Center for Work and Family Life at (213) 821-0800. Chaplaincy services are also available through the Office of Religious Life, they can be reached at (213) 740-6110.