LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A wrongful death suit has been filed against the University of Southern California by the parents of two USC graduate students slain near the campus on April 11.
Wanzhi Qu and Xiaohong Fei, father and mother of Ming Qu, and Xiyong Wu and Meinan Yin, parents of Ying Wu, filed the suit Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. They are seeking unspecified damages.
Wu and Qu, both 23-year-old electrical engineering students from China, were fatally shot during a downpour about 1 a.m. while sitting in Qu’s recently purchased 2003 BMW, which was double-parked in the 2700 block of Raymond Avenue.
Wu was found in the passenger seat and Qu on the steps of a nearby house where he collapsed while trying to summon help, Los Angeles police said.
USC attorney Debra Wong Yang today issued a statement in response to the suit.
“USC is deeply saddened by this tragic event, which was a random violent act not representative of the safety of USC or the neighborhoods around campus,” she said. “While we have deep sympathy for the victims’ families, this lawsuit is baseless and we will move to have it dismissed.
“As part of our support for the families we met with them and offered financial assistance as a gesture of kindness and sympathy. The attorney for the families subsequently instructed them to decline USC’s gesture and filed suit.”
According to the suit, USC “actively solicits international students particularly from China for its graduate studies program for which it receives a substantial sum of money from tuition to help fund the university.”
The USC website “extols the virtues of USC” and states the university “is ranked among the safest of U.S. universities and colleges, with one of the most comprehensive, proactive campus and community safety programs in the nation,” according to the suit.
However, USC does not provide patrols in the area where the students were killed and the campus is in a high-crime area, the suit states.
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