Two graduate students were fatally shot early Wednesday morning 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, where one female, 23-year-old Ying Wu, and one male victim, 23-year-old Ming Qu, were transported to California Hospital where they were pronounced dead.
[Update 11:15 a.m.] At some point after being shot, Qu fled from the car to a nearby porch to seek help, according to LAPD Cdr. Andrew Smith. The suspect in the case is said to be male. No other details on the suspect have been released.
Michael L. Jackson, vice president for student affairs, and Todd Dickey, senior vice president of administration, released a joint statement to the university community at approximately 10:51 a.m:
“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 10:00 a.m.] Both victims were in their 20s and of Chinese descent. Richard French, a spokesperson for the LAPD, said the female was found inside a late-model BMW and the male victim was found outside of the vehicle. The LAPD received a report of shots fired in the 2700 block of Raymond Avenue shortly after 1 a.m.
[Update 9:15 a.m.] LAPD Officer Gregory Baek said they suspect the shooting was an attempted carjacking, though the investigation is ongoing.
“At this time, what we have is a tragic loss of [USC students],” Carlisle said.
Names of the victims have not yet been released as the victims’ families are contacted.
“The circumstances surrounding the shooting are unclear. USC’s Department of Public Safety is working closely with LAPD on the investigation,” said Carlisle in the Trojan Alert sent at 6:25 a.m.
The car where the victims were shot has been removed from the scene, where LAPD is still investigating the shooting, as of 7:45 a.m.
Raymond Avenue between 27th and 29th streets is closed to traffic.