Arrests Made In The Murders Of USC Students
LAPD officials announced Friday evening that two arrests were made in the fatal shootings of Ming Qu and Ying Wu, the two Chinese electrical engineering students shot and killed off-campus April 11.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said that forensic evidence linked the two men to the case as well as to two other homicides.
Chief Beck didn't go into specifics about the evidence because he said the DA still needed to make a case.
The suspects are Bryan Barnes, 20, and Javier Bolden, 19, both African-American men. They're scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday. The suspects have minor criminal records and are not known to be gang members, but Beck said they may have some connection with a gang.
"Let this be a reminder to anyone who wants to do something like this, we will work every day to find you," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said at a press conference at LAPD Headquarters. The press conference also included LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, as well as detectives from the LAPD's Criminal Gang Homicide Division and representatives from LAPD command staff.
The search is still ongoing for the murder weapon, Chief Beck said. The reward is still in effect, as police want more information from the public, Beck said.
According to The L.A. Times, the arrests happened stealthily and abruptly- causing some residents to think it was part of a Hollywood film-shoot.
Dozens of detectives, plainclothes officers and members of the Los Angeles Police Department's SWAT unit descended on the 1200 block of 91st Street in South Los Angeles, residents said. They arrived suddenly but discreetly, disrupting a kids' game of kickball in the street and an ice-cream truck that was trolling down the block, said a woman who declined to give her name.
"It was quiet, calm. We thought at first they were a crew filming 'Southland,' " the woman said, referring to the television drama about L.A. cops. She said she watched the operation unfold from her lawn.
SWAT officers entered the bright blue, two-story house, said the woman. They emerged soon after with a man in handcuffs and handed him off to other officers who led him to an awaiting car, the woman said.
The L.A. Times also reported that bullet casings may have been what led the LAPD to the suspects:
A police source who requested anonymity because the investigation is ongoing said ballistic tests on shell casings recovered at the scene of the USC shooting show they were fired from the same gun used in two other shootings.
Detectives working on the two previous shootings had followed some "very tenuous" leads that led them to believe the man taken into custody might have been involved, the source said. The source added that the man did not have an extensive criminal record.
The source said police knew the man had been in possession of something that "could very readily be tied to one of the victims."
Ming Qu and Ying Wu had been sitting in Qu's car on the 2700 block of Raymond Avenue around 1 a.m. Wednesday, April 11, when both were shot.
Wu was found slumped in the passenger seat while Qu was found on a porch after trying to get help. The LAPD had said they were seeking the help of the public in finding the suspects.
The LAPD's announcement of the arrests is made just one day after the victims' parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit against USC for misleading students about campus safety.