LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Students and faculty at the University of Southern California are mourning two graduate students who were gunned down near campus Thursday morning.

Hundreds gathered Wednesday night to pay respects to Ying Wu and Ming Qu, both 23. The graduate students from China had both been studying electrical engineering.

Officials say Wu and Qu were sitting in a BMW in the 2700 block of Raymond Avenue with hazard lights on when they were approached by an armed man at 1 a.m., according to KNX 1070′s John Brooks.

Friends say the couple often parked out front of Wu’s residence and talked in the car.

Qu was shot twice in the head by the gunman, who may have been attempting to steal the vehicle. Wu was also shot.

“He exited the car and went up onto one of the porches of a nearby house, asking for help, and our officers arrived and found him there,” Commander Andy Smith said.

Both victims were later declared dead at California Hospital.

Police are examining nearby surveillance video to identify the suspect.

University officials and police plan to announce Friday a $125,000 reward for information leading to the suspect.

Crime has dropped in the LAPD’s Southwest Division, which includes the USC campus. Only four murders have been reported since the beginning of the year.

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