Two Viterbi graduate students killed in off-campus shooting

Two graduate students were fatally shot early Wednesday morning as they sat in a car in front of a residence on Raymond Avenue near 27th Street, according to Dept. of Public Safety Capt. David Carlisle.

The Los Angeles Police Department responded to the scene in the 2700 block of Raymond Avenue shortly after 1 a.m., where one female, 23-year-old Ying Wu, and one male, 23-year-old Ming Qu, were found shot.

The victims were transported to California Hospital Medical Center in Downtown Los Angeles where they were pronounced dead.

Officers found the female victim inside the “late-model BMW” and the male victim outside of the vehicle. At some point after being shot, the male victim fled from the car to a nearby porch to seek help, according to Cdr. Andrew Smith.

Wu and Qu both studied electrical engineering at the Viterbi School of Engineering.

LAPD said the suspect at large is male. No other details or descriptions have been provided about the suspect.

“We are saddened and outraged at this horrific act,” Denzil Suite, associate vice president for Student Affairs, said in a statement. “I encourage us to pull together as a community for support and comfort during this difficult time.”

Michael L. Jackson, vice president for student affairs, and Todd Dickey, senior vice president of administration released a joint statement to the USC community.

“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,” Jackson and Dickey said in the statement.

Those seeking counseling or other support can call Student Affairs at (213) 740-2421 or Student Counseling Services at (213) 740-7711.

Those with information on the shooting are asked to call investigators at Southwest Area Homicide at (213) 485-2417.


21 replies
  1. Mina
    Mina says:

    I’m an alum and have been horrified to watch these events unfold, especially since I have mutual friends who knew the victims. Since there seem to be no leads on such a brazen crime until they get some sort of surveillance up, it leaves us to be more vigilant.

    Here’s a simple precaution I use in my neighborhood:

    If you are coming home at night in a car, turn your high beams on and do a slow drive-through of the block. PASS YOUR RESIDENCE. Look out for unusual cars which are not normally parked there and make sure there’s no one inside. Lots of times, people looking to carjack/mug you are just waiting in their parked cars. Once you deem it’s safe, on your 2nd pass of the block, actually turn into your driveway. *maybe* a simple precaution like this can help someone in the future prevent such a sad loss of life.

  2. kby
    kby says:

    I always believe this: some people should never have been born. They came to the world with part of their humanity missing. These people should have been aborted. Hopefully, future medicinal science will enable detection of such sociopaths/potential criminals before they get born.

    It’s such a tragedy that these two young people lost their lives in this senseless crime. They came half way around the globe in pursuit of a better education at USC, with their hopes and aspirations. Yet, their lives were brutally cut short by these scums of the earth that roam the USC neighborhood.

    I feel so so sorry for them, and it’s not just because I am also a USC student from China.

    It’s as heartbreaking as the Florida incident in which 2 British tourists were shot by a good-for-nothing local teenager.

  3. Fellow International Student
    Fellow International Student says:

    International students are given a separate orientation upon their arrival at USC. At the international orientation, USC teaches incoming students nothing about safety, and everything about how to be American. An administrator who probably couldn’t even get accepted to USC today tells International students how much an appropriate tip in a restaurant is and how American Football works. USC preps incoming international students in these mandatory sessions how to act like an American.

    How about a fair warning to internationals who may not know any better that their campus is in one of the worst neighbourhoods in LA? How about a suggestion that when someone points a gun at you less than a mile off campus, it is a smart idea to just comply with whatever they say? How about a little more focus at international orientation on how to stay safe as opposed to how to fit in?

  4. Robert
    Robert says:

    It’s too bad that the university (which just collected half a BILLION dollars in donations last year) don’t pay it’s graduate TAs enough that they can really afford to live in a safer neighborhood. This probably wouldn’t have happened in Pasadena, Culver City, or Los Feliz.

    • USC Grad Student
      USC Grad Student says:

      Exactly! Luckily, I am able to commute to school from Silver Lake. My neighborhood is VERY safe and my rent is half as much as it would be if I lived in University Park.

  5. whoelse
    whoelse says:

    I don’t understand why the report still talked about the “late-model BMW” thing, which had been proven as false information. The male student just bought a second-hand 9 year old car for the convenience of going for interviews. They are POOR students! Was the reporter trying to tell people they were shot because of their wealth? Then how many USC students should be executed for the very reason in the street?! I am really ashamed of American journalism!!

    • John
      John says:

      That’s a good point. The LA Times seemed to make a huge deal about the car being a BMW.

      … a 2003 model that he’d bought for $10k. A new Hyundai would’ve been more expensive. But they had to play up the economic disparity angle, even when little economic disparity existed.

  6. John
    John says:

    USC has always been extremely proactive about safety, and has invested considerable resources into making students feel safe within the clasically defined North University Park neighborhood (the east of Vermont, south of Adams area, as well as the south of Jefferson, east of Normandie block).

    That said, some students choose to live near campus, but outside this “security zone” (as the LA Times called it). I can understand USC’s historic reluctance in investing or diverting assets such as DPS officers away from the most heavily student-populated environs… but it always baffled me why Campus Cruiser and other university resources refused to service the area immediately northwest of campus. It was like the university was tacitly trying to discourage us from living there, but never explicitly said “hey, don’t live northwest of campus, because we’re not investing security resources there, and so it’s unsafe.” And even if they did, I wonder if the message might get lost among international students, as these victims were (rest in peace fellow Trojans).

    The cost to at least extend campus cruiser to that zone would be nominal, as would extending tram routes. That chunk of the neighborhood has been completely ignored… and yet students live there. In that sense, I can’t help but wonder if this was an accident just waiting to happen.

    • Sammy
      Sammy says:

      I’m sorry but I’m afraid I have to disagree regarding USC emphasizing the safety. A lot of the programs that they come up with actually don’t work very well. The yellow-jacketed “ambassadors” either play with their phones or sleep, DPS does nothing other than driving in our neighbohood like douchbags, their response time is 1 hour at the earliest mainly because they send 10 cars to capture a homeless person collecting plastic bottles, and they still have no desire to fix the Trojan alert which failed at least half the time. It’s much better to rely on Facebook to get the latest security updates, and DPS puts this as an excuse that Facebook is doing the job that they choose to abandon. We don’t need DPS if that really is the case–I think LAPD will do a much better job in maintaining the security.

  7. Fred
    Fred says:

    Get ready for a lot more of this, as Governor Brown, Sheriff Baca and AG Harris conspire to undo decades of progress in keeping thugs locked up.

    • Casey
      Casey says:

      Fred, I think you know better than to say that.

      The release of convicted felons has been necessitated by overcrowding in our prisons. And overcrowding in our prisons is largely the result of a failed drug policy. The ultimate result is that we must stretch increasingly-limited resources increasingly thin. Note that the average California inmate costs the state $48,214 per year. It’s a bit more than the $7,463 the state spends per student on higher education. It’s even more than USC tuition — that’s an impressive feat to accomplish.

      Meanwhile, the LAPD has a federal responsibility to pursue and arrest recreational marijuana users while violent criminals like the suspect in this story remain on the streets.

      So what solution do you propose? Increase prison funding? Then where shall we cut?

      • Dave
        Dave says:

        “the LAPD has a federal responsibility to pursue and arrest recreational marijuana users” NOT TRUE. No one is in prison for marijuana. 14 years as a police officer and I know that marijuana possession is the same as a traffic ticket.

  8. John Jones
    John Jones says:

    I sure hope the LAPD are able to catch this guy!

    And if they do, we should turn him over to Chinese authorities to properly punish him!

    • Casey
      Casey says:

      By what reasoning would we turn over an American offender to the judicial system of another country? Asian-Americans commit the fewest crimes per capita of any ethnic group, and South Central has relatively few Asians. Asian-Americans also have some of the highest per-capita incomes, and thus have fewer incentives to commit robberies, burglaries, or larcenies. And of Asian-Americans, a rather small portion are Chinese citizens.

      So I would conclude that the suspect is, most likely, not Chinese. Rather than call for a summary execution, we should be thankful the American legal system grants criminal suspects full due process rights (which is not the case in China).

  9. Lauren
    Lauren says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends, and loved ones of the victims. I hope they are surrounded with support and comfort as they grieve this awful tragedy.

  10. Jessica
    Jessica says:

    What a terrible, senseless tragedy. My heart goes out to the friends and family of the two victims.

Comments are closed.