USC student, young man fatally shot in attempted carjacking, police say

Police report to the scene where a female USC student and a young man were killed Wednesday morning when a gunman opened fire on a BMW in front of their home
CBS Los Angeles

(CBS/AP) LOS ANGELES - A female University of Southern California student and a young man were killed Wednesday morning when a gunman opened fire on a BMW near the USC campus.

Officials say the victims, a female student and a young man, were inside the vehicle when they were approached by an armed man around 1 a.m. in what authorities say may have been a bungled carjacking attempt.

CBS Los Angeles reports the man was shot point-blank in the head when he refused to get out of the car. The woman was also reportedly shot, found slumped in the front passenger seat. The man was found outside the vehicle, according to initial reports.

Both victims, who have been identified as graduate students from China, were declared dead at a local hospital.

Witnesses said the car was in the roadway, not at the curb, at the time of the shooting.

The gunman fled after the shooting and no one has been arrested, LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said. He also said that investigators had taken the BMW away for examination and were attempting to determine if there were any surveillance cameras in the area.

"We're trying to figure out if it was car-to-car or if someone walked up on them," Sgt. Carlton Brown told City News Service.

Smith and USC campus police Capt. David Carlisle confirmed hours later that the woman is a 20-year-old USC student. Carlisle said the university is attempting to contact the woman's relatives and her name is being withheld.

Carlisle said it was unclear if the male victim, also in his 20s, was a student.

The university's Department of Public Safety sent an email alert to students, saying that two people were shot in front of a residence.

"The circumstances surrounding the shooting are unclear," the alert said, adding, "As the university mourns this tragic loss, DPS urges students to be mindful of their surroundings."

According to the Los Angeles Times reports Anyone with information is asked to call investigators with Southwest Area Homicide at (213) 485-2417. Anonymous callers can contact Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).