Two Chinese international students at USC killed *Updated
Neon Tommy UPDATE: 1:31 pm: The names of the two USC students killed in this morning's shooting have been released —Ying Wu and Ming Qu. They were graduate students from China studying electrical engineering.
Two USC international graduate students from China were shot on Wednesday morning, according to authorities. The students were shot and killed at around 1 am while sitting in a car on Raymond Avenue – near the intersection of Normandie Avenue and Adams Boulevard. The names are not being released until their next of kin are contacted. Below is coverage from Intersection: South LA and Neon Tommy
The woman victim was found slumped over the steering wheel of a new BMW. She had been shot. Her male companion was found lying on the steps of a nearby home; he had one gunshot wound. Both were pronounced dead at the hospital.
Police are looking into several possible motives for the shooting, including an attempted carjacking. However, as the morning went on, police began to suspect it may have been a random act of violence. It's unclear if the car was moving when the shooting occurred. Police are investigating whether it was a car-to-car shooting or if an assailant walked up to the car.
USC released a statement: "Our community is saddened and outraged by this callous and meaningless act. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims’ families and friends and all who knew them at USC. The university is reaching out to those affected, offering counseling and support."
The statement by Michael L. Jackson, Vice President of Student Affairs and Todd Dickey, Senior Vice President of Administration, also said, "This incident occurred outside the neighborhood areas where over the past several years we have steadily increased our security presence, adding dozens of security and license plate recognition cameras, uniformed officers, and yellow-jacketed security ambassadors. However, tragedies such as this morning’s remind us that we all need to be continuously vigilant about safety and security."
Annenberg TV News has been on the scene of the shooting since early morning. Click here to see its coverage.
Neon Tommy UPDATE: 10:15 a.m.: LAPD Commander Andrew Smith said detectives were continuing the investigation. Smith confirmed the victims were both USC grad students and both were international students from China. Police are seeking help from community members who might have information on the shooter. Contact Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477)
Smith said police won't release the victims' names until after the next of kin are notified and the coronor's report is completed.
Residents who spoke to Neon Tommy reporters on the scene said the neighborhood is historically a safe one. Some said they are worried about the media making the area seem more dangerous than it is.
Many of the residents of the West Adams district in which the shooting took place are students.