Officer shot dead in Irvine


A Dept. of Public Safety officer and his fiancee were found late Sunday dead from gunshots in a parked car in Irvine, Calif.

In memoriam · Dept. of Public Safety Officer Keith Lawrence and his fiancee were found dead in their car Sunday evening in Irvine.  - Courtesy of the Dept. of Public Safety

In memoriam · Dept. of Public Safety Officer Keith Lawrence and his fiancee were found dead in their car Sunday evening in Irvine. – Courtesy of the Dept. of Public Safety

The victims, who were found in the vehicle at about 9:10 p.m., were identified as Keith Lawrence, 27, and Monica Quan, 28. Gunshots were not reported that night, and the bodies were only found after a passerby noticed Lawrence slumped over the steering wheel, according to police. Law enforcement officials are continuing to investigate the crime as a double homicide, not a murder-suicide.

Lawrence joined DPS in August 2012 and at the time of his death was assigned to patrol operations, according to DPS Capt. David Carlisle. Quan was an assistant basketball coach for the Cal State Fullerton women’s team. Previously, the two had attended Concordia University in Irvine, where they both excelled in college basketball. After college, Lawrence graduated from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Academy and was an armed officer.

DPS Chief John Thomas released a statement Monday regarding the shooting.

“It is with great sadness and a very heavy heart that I announce the untimely death of a member of the DPS Family, PSO I Keith Lawrence,” he wrote.

Though Lawrence was only with DPS for a short period, Thomas commended his efforts to help protect the USC community.

“During his brief tenure of service here at USC, Officer Lawrence proved to be an honorable, compassionate and professional member of our department and the Trojan Family,” Thomas wrote. “We are a better department and the USC Campus Community is a safer place as a result of his service.”

Thomas also called on the department and others to remember Lawrence when acting as public safety officers and officials, also asking to keep “Keith and his fiancee’s families in your thoughts and prayers as they grieve and begin the healing process.”

“Please continue to espouse those same values of honor, commitment to duty, professionalism and compassion as we continue to add to his legacy and those that we all share as members of the law enforcement public safety community,” Thomas wrote.