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Students Decry Social Media Portrayal Of USC Chinese Students Shot To Death

Shako Liu and Dan Watson |
April 11, 2012 | 10:06 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporters

(Photo by Kay Chinn)
(Photo by Kay Chinn)
Tears and anger were on display Wednesday night, as friends of the two Chinese students who were shot and killed earlier in the day near USC denounced the portrayal  of the victims in some social media outlets as indifferent, rich students. Several students attending a candle light vigil on the South Los Angeles campus spoke out against the image being circulated of the two shooting victims.

A family friend of Ming Qu, one of the two victims, claimed that many students who offered sympathy for the victims didn't come to the campus memorial because they were being bombarded by reporters' queries that focused on the luxury car the two students were driving.

Many comments on Chinese Weibo, a Twitter-like social media, were focused on the BMW, alleging that the two victims were obnoxious rich kids. "They dared not come [to the memorial," said Qu's friend who requested anonymity.

“Ming Qu was a very good kid and had been a top one in his study. He was going to fly back to China in 20 days and start working there,” she said .

Jia Silu, a good friend of the second victim Ying Wu, brought a bouquet and a photo of her to the memorial, with tears in his eyes. “Actually the two of them were very frugal,” he said with a choking voice. “Wu shared a room with another girl to save rent. Those who said the BMW was $60,000 have no conscience. It is a total lie.” 

Jia said the two students often studied late at night. They spent most of their time in the library, he added.

“She was very kind to everyone. We often hanged out," Jia said. "We had dinner in Chinatown, and I took her to buy contact lenses. She told me to hang out again. I never thought something like this would happen.”

Jia said he didn’t do anything the whole day, except stay online to read updates on the killing that took place in the wee hours of Wednesday morning barely a mile from the USC campus.

He fondly remembers Wu giving herself the nickname "Sister Pig Feet." Everyone called her that nickname, he said. Last night, she renamed herself "Sister Ox Feet," he said. Ox is slang for "greatness" in Chinese. "So you are a great person now?" Jia joked with her.

“We all have the dream of having a better life and contributing to our parents and our country,” Jia said.

Adam Bobrow, a former USC theater major, remembers asking the girl next to him if she’d watch his computer in Leavey Library, and, soon thereafter, a friendship blossoming.
“Wu was open-minded, progressive, thoughtful, considerate, and she was up for participating in a good joke,” Bobrow said.
Just after asking her to watch his computer, he remembers teaching her the Westside sign as a joke, and taking photos of her and her friend as they posed and laughed. “She loved life, that was sort of contagious, being with her,” Bobrow said. 
On Wednesday night, he left a candle for his friend at the vigil.
“She’s the most harmless person. She never does anything to put herself in dangers way. I can’t imagine a more peaceful, pleasant person. The ‘deserve-factor.’ Deserve has nothing to do with it. It just seems so crazy,” he said.
“I thought about her family and what it must be like to be home in China with your daughter far, far away, and then to have to hear this terrible news.”


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