ALHAMBRA (CBSLA.com) — The grief-stricken parents of a USC student beaten to death last week arrived Thursday in the Southland.
Xinran Ji, 25, was found dead July 24 morning in his fourth-floor unit at the City Park apartments in the 200 block of West 30th Street after he was attacked on his way home from a study group.
Speaking through a translator, Ji’s parents told KCAL9’s Dave Lopez that the 25-year old graduated from Georgetown University with honors and had an opportunity to work as an engineer in his native China but instead wanted to come to USC, a move his family supported.
“Xinran is the only child of the parents. They really use all of their savings to support Xinran to come to the U.S. to study,” interpreter George He said.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, Ji was walking home around 12:45 a.m. when he was beaten and struck in the head with a bat near the corner of 29th Street and Orchard Avenue.
He managed to make his way back to his apartment, where he was later found dead by his roommate.
“Only one year left before his graduation and this tragedy, this terrible tragedy happened,” He said.
Ji’s father is a teacher and his mother works in a hospital in their village in inner Mongolia, about six-a-half hours from Beijing.
A family friend said the parents’ arrival was delayed because of a snag with the State Department.
“The State Department had a breakdown in the system. And then they said they could not do a background check,” family friend and attorney Dan Deng said.
Despite knowing why the family had to leave immediately, it took five days to get clearance for Ji’s family members.
“They were in shock. It’s like heaven fell down, because he was their hope,” He said.
A special memorial service for Ji is being planned on the USC campus.
Funeral services held by the student’s family are scheduled to take place Saturday at the mortuary.
Ji’s parents plan to return to China with their son’s cremated remains next week.