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USC students' slayings: $125,000 reward to be offered

April 13, 2012 |  8:36 am

The Los Angeles Police Department and USC officials plan to announce Friday a $125,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who fatally shot two graduate students outside a home near campus.

The reward comes as detectives continue to search for the killer, who shot the students early Wednesday on the 2700 block of Raymond Avenue. A news conference announcing the reward is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Some witnesses heard the gunshots, but because it was raining at the time, few people were on the street, said LAPD Det. Sal LaBarbera. Witnesses confirmed seeing a man running away at the time, he added.

Detectives hope video from LAPD security cameras in the area might offer some clues, but it was unclear if any footage would show the gunman.

"We want anyone who passed by that area [at the time of the shooting] to contact us," LaBarbera said. "We have several leads we are working."

The victims were identified as Ming Qu and Ying Wu, two graduate students from China studying electrical engineering at USC.

After a night at the library, Qu drove Wu to the house where she was renting a room less than a mile from campus. He double-parked in front of the home early Wednesday morning as they continued talking.

A gunman approach Qu's BMW and opened fire, killing both students in an attack that shocked the USC community and rekindled long-held concerns about safety around the university.

Qu attempted to run for help after he was shot in the head and was found collapsed on a nearby porch, police said. Wu was found slumped over in the passenger seat of the car, shot in the chest.

The students, both 23, were close friends who spent evenings chatting on the front porch of the house where Wu lived, according to police sources who requested anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

Because it was raining Wednesday, police believe the pair decided to stay in the car, which friends said was a 2003 model that Qu bought for about $10,000.

RELATED:

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USC students killed: 'I'm going to move as soon as possible'

Slaying of two graduate students stuns USC; LAPD seeks killer

-- Andrew Blankstein

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