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USC students' slayings: LAPD seeks man in dark clothing, dark car

April 13, 2012 | 12:06 pm

Ming Wu and Ying Qu
Los Angeles police detectives hope to identify a man in dark clothing and a dark-colored car that sped away moments after two USC graduate students were gunned down on a West Adams street, they said Friday.

With a $125,000 reward being offered in the shooting of electrical engineering grad students Ming Qu and Ying Wu, police are hoping they will learn soon who fatally shot the pair early Wednesday as Qu dropped Wu off at her home in the 2700 block of Raymond Avenue.

LAPD Deputy Chief Pat Gannon said Raymond is a quiet residential street, and the deadly events unfolded on a rainy night with no one around. Neighbors heard the gunshots and afterward saw someone in dark clothing running from the scene, Gannon said.

"There was a dark-colored car, possibly an American model, that pulled away right after the shots were fired." Gannon said. "It had been idling down the street.

He said detectives would like to know if the vehicle is connected to the crime.

Sources familiar with the investigation say security cameras so far have not provided any clues to the shooter's identity.

Detectives want anyone who passed through the area around the time of the shooting to contact the department. So far, investigators believe the students were not targeted but may have been the victims of a random crime of opportunity.

Though the area is home to Rollin 20s Crips, crime in the area has dropped dramatically in the last decade.

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 shooter approach Qu's BMW and opened fire, killing both students in an attack that immediately 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.


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-- Richard Winton

Photo: Ming Qu, right, and Ying Wu. Credit: KTLA-TV.