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UPDATED: Two USC Students Shot And Killed Near Campus Identified

Ryan Faughnder, Tracy Bloom, NT Staff Reporters |
April 11, 2012 | 8:12 a.m. PDT

Executive Editor, Deputy Editor

UPDATE: 1:31 p.m.: Below is the official statement from the USC administration on the shooting of students Ying Wu and Ming Qu:

Two USC Students Killed In West Adams, University Response


Students react to the news

Neighbors shocked, hear "gunshots through the rain"

VIDEO: Scenes from the street

UPDATE: 1:15 p.m.: The names of the two USC students killed in this morning's shooting have been released by USC News -- Ying Wu and Ming Qu. Both were grad students from China studying electrical engineering.

UPDATE: 1:00 p.m.: Police have yet to release the names of the two students killed in this mornings shooting on the 2700 block of West Adams. The two students, shot while inside a new BMW sedan, are believed to be graduate students at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. 

UPDATE: 11:05 a.m.: USC released a statement late Wednesday morning about the double-fatal shooting. It read in part:

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.

The Los Angeles Police Department and our Department of Public Safety are working aggressively to solve this 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. However, tragedies such as this morning’s remind us that we all need to be continuously vigilant about safety and security.

 While crime in our community is low compared to other areas of Los Angeles, 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; a community safety task force with the USC Family of Schools; and a collaboration on public safety issues between the Department of Public Safety and the area’s neighborhood councils. These efforts, among others, have succeeded in significantly improving safety in our surrounding community.

UPDATE: 10:15 a.m.: LAPD Commander Andrew Smith said detectives were continuing the investigation. Smith confirmed the victims were both USC grad students and both were international students from China. Police are seeking help from community members who might have information on the shooter. Contact Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477)

Police on the scene in West Adams area (Alan Mittelstaedt)
Police on the scene in West Adams area (Alan Mittelstaedt)

Smith said police won't release the victims' names until after the next of kin are notified and the coronor's report is completed. 

Residents who spoke to Neon Tommy reporters on the scene said the neighborhood is historically a safe one. Some said they are worried about the media making the area seem more dangerous than it is. 

Many of the residents of the West Adams district in which the shooting took place are students. 

UPDATE: 8:45 a.m.: Reports now say it may not have been an attempted carjacking.

Two USC students, a man and a woman, were fatally shot in a car in the West Adams district near campus early Wednesday morning, police said. 

The victims have been identified as USC graduate students, according to multiple reports.  Police say the students were both from China, according to the LA Times

The students, who were in their 20s, were found by police at 1 a.m. and may be the victims of a bungled carjacking just south of 27th Street on Raymond Ave., according to City News Service.  They were taken to a hospital and pronounced dead. Their car was a newer model BMW.

The man was found outside the car near a home, suggesting he was able to get out of the car before collapsing.  

Police say they have officers fanned out in all directions. ATVN reports from the scene: "LAPD has roped off both sides of the intersection of 27th and Raymond."

From CBSLocal: "While officials say it was too dark to get a good description of the shooter, there were several witnesses who say the shooter drove away in a dark-colored vehicle."

An alert was sent to USC students Wednesday morning. "Names of the victims are withheld pending notification of next of kin," wrote USC campus police Capt. David Carlisle in the alert. "The circumstances surrounding the shooting are unclear. USC's Department of Public Safety is working closely with LAPD on the investigation.


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Anonymous (not verified) on April 11, 2012 8:39 PM

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Anonymous (not verified) on April 11, 2012 9:26 PM

I would guess that the "body count" is about 4 or 5 in the last decade. Out of 30,000 students a year. At least as safe as Harvard, Columbia or University of Pennsylvania. The area directly around USC is actually terrific. This was a mile away and it is still not clear whether this was just the work of killers who could have killed people just as easily in Beverly Hills.

Anonymous (not verified) on April 11, 2012 5:26 PM

a university for the world's wealthy is located in the middle of a ghetto and everybody is continually shocked when students are picked off during carjackings, muggings, ipad robberies, rapes, hit & runs, etc. anyvbody know the body count for the past five years?

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Anonymous (not verified) on April 11, 2012 1:44 PM

this is so horrible.

you have to ask, in this circumstance, why is usc defending itself against bad publicity by saying "crime in our community is low compared to other areas of Los Angeles?" those sorts of statements are misleading to students moving here from other places who aren't fully aware of the realities of crime in south Los Angeles. (no doubt the victims of this awful crime had heard that claim many times over.) looking forward to hearing Neon Tommy ask the tough questions about whether foreign students are well-informed about the true safety of the neighborhoods south of the 10 before they move here.

the university clearly has a duty to all students not just to make the area safer, but also to be honest about the safety of the area, especially when students are moving here from other countries.

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