(KTSF by Sean Au)
It has been almost a week since 2 Chinese graduate students from the University of Southern California were gunned down near their campus. Ying Wu and Ming Qu were the single child of their respective families. The parents of the two victims arrived in Los Angeles this past weekend, but they have been insistent on not wanting to talk to the media.
The bodies of the two students have been sent to a funeral home in Alhambra, a half hour’s drive from USC. Officials from the university and the Chinese consulate in LA have been providing assistance to the families since the tragedy happened.
Ying Wu was from China’s Hebei province while Ming Qu had come from the province of Jilin. Both were 23 years old and students of Electrical Engineering.
They had studied late into early Wednesday morning of April 11 and were killed when Qu took Wu to her home about a mile away from the USC campus. Police say a gunman had approached the car in which the two students were talking, fired shots into the car and got away with some items. Wu died in the car while Qu managed to get to the doorstep of Wu’s house to seek help, but he collapsed. Both were pronounced dead at the hospital.
Almost a week after the crime, people place flowers at the porch of Wu’s house. The landlord who also lived in the house places a book for visitors to express their condolences to the two families. The book will be given to the victims’ families. Jacqueline Hamilton, who has been been Wu’s landlord says the young woman was a quiet and hardworking student.
Wu loved to cook and was beginning to see Qu over the past few weeks. “Actually, it has been just in the last few weeks, they have been getting to know each other,” says Ms Hamilton. “I had never seen her so happ. She was still tired, but really happy.”
When the parents of the two students came to visit the crime scene, Ms Hamilton gave them a hug each and was able to lend a shoulder to the parents who were apparently in deep grief. “We felt we spent many many minutes of the meeting going from one person to the other person, to the other, and crying. It was very, very sad and they are devastated by their losses,” says Ms Hamilton.
Over at the School of Engineering at USC, the lobby of the Electrical Engineering building is the site of another make shift memorial with flowers addressed to the deceased and their families.
“I have very deep impressions of Ying Wu,” says Jiangyang Zhang, the Teaching Assistant who overseas the projects of Wu. “She was very lively, studious, hardworking girl. She usually studies in the school till past midnight. That is why I think she was heading home after study last Wednesday. As for Ming Qu, his results have been very good too. I remembered that he did very well in his finals.”
Students who know the two victims personally also hope the families can overcome their grief soon. “I hope their recover from this tragedy soon. We will continue to give them our encouragement and help them in whatever way we can,” says Tianzhou Liu, who knew Wu personally. I also hope that Wu is resting in peace in heaven.”
LAPD has yet to release more information about the assailant but says that some items of the victims’ have been taken by the culprit.
USC has put up a $125,000 reward for those with information about the crime, which can lead to the arrest and subsequent conviction. The Los Angeles City Council has also added $75,000 to this figure, making a total of $200,000. The Chinese Students and Scholars Association plans to organize an fundraiser to add additional money to the reward.
(Copyright 2012 KTSF. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)