LOS ANGELES, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Two Chinese students who were slain during an early-morning shooting Wednesday were identified by officials from the University of Southern California (USC) and the authorities are still looking for a lone suspect.
The victims were identified as Ms. Ying Wu and Mr. Ming Qu. Both were graduate students studying electrical engineering, according to a statement released by USC officials. Police said both were 23 years old.
The victims were shot and killed while sitting in a car on Raymond Avenue near the intersection of Normandie Avenue and Adams Boulevard outside the school campus, according to the statement.
The area has been infested with gang activities, but has been on a large part got rid of the crimes as the security beefed up and gentrification took its hold in recent years.
"Our community is saddened and outraged by this callous and meaningless act," said the statement, which was co-signed by vice president of Student Affairs Michael L. Jackson and senior vice president of administration Todd Dickey.
The Los Angeles Police Department and USC Department of Public Safety are working aggressively to solve this crime, according to the USC statement.
The two were sitting in a brand new BMW in front of Wu's off- campus house when they were shot, local television channel KTLA reported, quoting police sources.
Wu was found shot in the front passenger seat of the car. Qu tried to run and call for help, but he collapsed and was found on a nearby porch, police said.
Both were transported to a nearby hospital where they were pronounced dead.
Initial reports said the shooting may have happened during a botched carjacking, but police say the motive is still unknown.
A male suspect was seen fleeing the area on foot, but no suspect description was immediately available, according to police.
Police were canvassing the area within several blocks, talking to anyone who might have seen anything.
More and more Chinese students are coming to the U.S. for study. Nearly 160,000 Chinese students were studying in the U.S. colleges in 2010/ 11 school year, which is up by 23 percent from the previous year, according to statistics provided by the Council of Graduate Schools.
In USC alone, there are 2,513 Chinese students, accounting for 34.8 percent of international students and representing the single largest group in the school's international scene.
The Consulate General of The People's Republic of China in Los Angeles is planning in the near future to host a meeting for Chinese students in L.A. to remind them about taking care of themselves and safety. Representatives from the consulate's education department is visiting USC to better understand the situation, according to Chinese officials.