Suspects plead not guilty in shooting of two USC students

Two men charged in the killing of two USC graduate students pleaded not guilty Wednesday to all charges.

Bryan Barnes, 20, and Javier Bolden, 19, were arrested in May for the deaths of Ming Qu and Ying Wu, graduate students studying electrical engineering. Qu and Wu were 23.

Barnes and Bolden are being held without bail and are scheduled to return to court Sept. 20 to set a date for a preliminary hearing.

Several Chinese media outlets and community supporters were at the arraignment, and the trail has sparked discussion on the representation of American schools to prospective international students.

Southwestern Chinese Students and Scholars Association President Howard Wong, a graduate student in engineering, said the issue of safety should be better addressed.

“Lots of Chinese students want to come to America to get their college education,” Wong said. “We need our universities to be safe and want there to be more security. Personally, I think it’s not right for something like this to happen.”

Julia Lieu, a family friend of Qu, also said American universities should have more security, given their prestige.

“We want to send our kids to college and we want to send them to the best colleges,” Lieu said. “Most people think these schools will be safe. Now that this has happened, when people [choose which school to go to] they might think twice.”

Additionally, the families of Qu and Wu have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against USC, but university attorneys have moved to drop the charge.