Two suspects in the fatal shooting of Ming Qu and Ying Wu, graduate students from China, were charged Tuesday with capital murder during a botched robbery, according to a press release from the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
Multiple murders and murder during a robbery make the two suspects eligible for the death penalty if prosecutors choose to seek it, the release said.
The arraignment for the two suspects was postponed from Tuesday until June 25, Shiara Dávila-Morales, a spokeswoman at the district attorney’s office, said.
The Los Angeles Police Department arrested the two men Friday afternoon. The suspects, Bryan Barnes, 20, and Javier Bolden, 19, are being held without bail. LAPD Detective David Garrido said Bolden was arrested near Victorville and Barnes was arrested in South Los Angeles.
Ming Qu and Ying Wu, 23-year old electrical engineering students, were fatally shot around 1 a.m. while sitting in Qu’s car on April 11. The incident occurred near the intersection of 27th Street and Raymond Avenue, about three blocks west of Vermont Avenue.
The parents of Qu and Wu filed a lawsuit against USC last week, claiming that the university had intentionally misrepresented the safety of the surrounding area and the safety services that the university provides.
In a statement issued by the university after the arrests, USC President C. L. Max Nikias lauded the city’s efforts in working to find those responsible.
“They shared our outrage at this senseless and singular act and worked passionately to reach a resolution,” Nikias said.
The district attorney’s office said that police used shell casings to connect the suspects to earlier murder attempts. Barnes and Bolden were charged for attempted murder in the alleged shooting at a South Los Angeles party on Dec. 3, 2011.
Officials also believe Barnes fired several rounds at a South Los Angeles party Feb. 12, injuring two victims.