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Reward offered for leads in USC killings

The fatal shooting of Ming Qu and Ying Wu may have been a robbery gone wrong, authorities say, noting that some of the victims' property is missing.

April 14, 2012|By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times

In announcing a $125,000 reward in the killing of two Chinese USC grad students, Los Angeles police officials said Friday that they hope to identify an assailant in dark clothing and a dark-colored car that sped away moments after the attack.

The slayings may have been a robbery gone wrong, authorities said. LAPD Deputy Police Chief Pat Gannon said items are missing that belonged to the students, who were shot on a residential street less than a mile west of the campus early Wednesday.

"There is property unaccounted from the victims," Gannon said at a news conference to announce the reward offered by USC for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer. Gannon declined to describe the items.

An LAPD-FBI homicide task force is also part of the investigation into the killings of Ming Qu, 23, and Ying Wu, 23, two graduate students in electrical engineering.

Also on Friday, investigators revealed that two or three shots were fired into the driver's side of the 2003 BMW that Qu and Wu were sitting in at about 1 a.m. in the 2700 block of Raymond Avenue. Neighbors heard the gunshots and called 911, and one witness saw a person in dark clothing running away, Gannon said.

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

After reviewing video surveillance footage, the LAPD has identified 75 vehicles that fit the description of the dark car. Gannon said detectives are tracking down the ownership of each vehicle.

richard.winton@latimes.com

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