$125,000 reward to be offered in USC students' slayings
The Los Angeles Police Department and USC officials on Friday will announce a $125,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who fatally shot two graduate students on Wednesday.
The reward comes as detectives continue to search for the killer.
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, LaBarbera added. Detectives hope the video from LAPD security cameras in the area might offer more clues, but it's unclear if any footage shows the killer. The shooting took place near the corner of Raymond Avenue and Adams Boulevard around 1 a.m.
"We want anyone who passed by that area [at the time of the shooting] to contact us," he 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.
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.
-- Andrew Blankstein
Photo: Police tape restricts access to Wednesday's crime scene. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times