USC students slain: Neighborhood once 'was pure gangs,' resident says
Residents on the street where two USC students were slain early Wednesday say the neighborhood has a history of gang activity and experienced an increased "drug flow" since students started living there in the last decade.
The man and woman were killed about 1 a.m. in the 2700 block of Raymond Avenue during a possible attempted robbery near USC; they were students at the university from China.
Police say they found a late-model BMW with evidence of gunshots. The woman was discovered shot in the car, the man on a porch nearby, police said. Both were pronounced dead at a hospital.
Deatriz Moreno was just getting home about 8 a.m. Wednesday and found her street blocked off by police. She pointed to a multistory brown house with an enormous porch she said has been rented to students for the last several years, as investigators walked in and out of the house’s open door.
She said the area has several houses like it that have been rented by students.
For many years, Moreno said "it was pure gangs" on the street until the 2000s, when students flocked to the area.
Julie Burleigh has lived on the block for the last decade, and said that while "it’s not super unusual to see cop cars here," the neighborhood is "fairly quiet."
"In the last 10 years, we’ve definitely seen the neighborhood get better and quieter," she said.
Los Angeles police say that violent crime in those neighborhoods has dropped precipitously since the late 1980s and early 1990s.
-- Sam Quinones