LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Police and USC officials announced Friday afternoon a $125,000 reward for information leading to the killer of two electrical engineering graduate students from China.
Officers sent to the 2700 block of Raymond Avenue near West 27th Street shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday found Ying Wu and Ming Qu, who had been shot several times, according to Sgt. Carlton Brown of the Los Angeles Police Department's Southwest Station.
Paramedics took the 23-year-old victims to a hospital, where they were pronounced dead, Brown said.
LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith, a department spokesman, said Wu and Qu were sitting in a car that was double-parked on the street when they were shot. The motive is unclear, but the shooting may have been a bungled carjacking, he said.
Investigators were working closely with USC campus police, according to Smith, who said one assailant was reported to have been seen leaving the site.
Wu was slumped in the front passenger seat of the late-model BMW, which was in the road, away from the curb, with blown out windows on the driver's and passenger's side. Qu was lying on the steps of a nearby house, having managed to get out of the car to seek help, Smith said.
Friends told the Los Angeles Times the car was a 2003 BMW that Qu had recently purchased for about $10,000.
Roughly 100 students attended a candlelight vigil Wednesday night near the Tommy Trojan statue on the USC campus and signed a book of condolences that will be sent to the victims' parents.
China's consulate in Los Angeles is planning a meeting in the near future to remind visiting Chinese students of the need to take safety measures to protect themselves, according to Xinhuanet, the website of China's official Xinhua News Agency.
University officials have been stressing that the area around the campus is safe, with a greatly diminished crime rates in recent years.
Michael L. Jackson, USC's vice president for student affairs, and USC Department of Public Safety Chief Carey Drayton posted information on the university's website Thursday, including details about crime in the surrounding neighborhoods, university alert systems and efforts to improve safety.
"The USC Department of Public Safety is one of the largest campus law enforcement agencies in the nation," they wrote. "Through a memorandum of understanding with the Los Angeles Police Department, armed USC public safety officers have powers of arrest and patrol the campus and off-campus areas in vehicles, on bicycles and on foot."
They also noted that there are about 70 security cameras and 50 license plate cameras near the campus.
Anyone with information on the crime was urged to call homicide detectives at (213) 485-4341; or (877) LAPD-24-7.
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