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2 USC grad students from China shot dead in car on LA street

Two graduate students are killed in the middle of the night only a quarter-mile from campus. Patrick Healy reports.

Two University of Southern California graduate students from China were shot to death in a car overnight in what could be a bungled carjacking, Los Angeles police reported Wednesday.

The victims, a male and a female, were shot around 1 a.m. local time on a residential street about a mile from campus.

USC later identified the victims as electrical engineering grad students Ying Wu and Ming Qu.

Police were interviewing neighbors and searching the area on Wednesday.


A Los Angeles police spokesman said a witness saw a man running from the scene, NBCLosAngeles.com reported.

Frederic J. Brown / AFP - Getty Images

One of the Chinese students shot dead in Los Angeles had run to this home for help.

The male victim was able to stumble onto a nearby porch before collapsing, while the woman was found slumped over inside the vehicle, a late-model BMW, the Los Angeles Times reported.

USC campus police sent out two alerts about a deadly off-campus shooting -- one at 6:03 a.m. that reported a shooting, and a second 21 minutes later that stated that a male and female had been shot dead.

The campus was not locked down, though the second alert advised students "to be mindful of their surroundings and review safety tips" on a USC website page.

USC says 7,200 of its 38,000 undergrad and graduate students in 2011 were international, and that the largest group was from China.

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