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Students Cite Lack Of On-Campus Housing As Factor In USC Killings

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(credit: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Campus police stepped up their safety patrols in the area surrounding the University of Southern California on Thursday after a deadly shooting left many students critical of the school’s limited housing options.

KNX 1070′s John Brooks reports the two Chinese graduate students who were murdered about a mile from the school were among those students who have been moving further off-campus in search of cheaper rent.

Ying Wu and Ming Qu, both 23, were graduate students from China who were studying electrical engineering before they were gunned down shortly after 1 a.m. early Thursday morning.

Investigators are still reviewing video surveillance tapes from the area in an attempt to identify the lone gunman believed to have shot the students while they were seated in a BMW outside the female victim’s rented room.

USC police set up a mobile command post on Raymond Avenue in the West Adams area, where most students say security is more of a concern than in dormitories on campus.

One graduate student said overcrowding is one factor that keeps him from living in the dorms.

“I’m a PH.D student and the amount of graduate student housing that the university offers isn’t sufficient to support graduate students, so I’ve kind of had to live off-campus,” he said.

Critics in the past have faulted officials for not building enough dorms for a university where 19 percent of the school’s 38,000 students are from overseas.

The shortage of affordable housing has forced students to exercise caution when choosing where they will home during their stay at USC.

“I live north of campus, I known not to live west or south of campus just because of the reputation it has,” said one grad student.

Police are expected to announce a reward on Friday for information leading to an arrest in the case.

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