LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) —  Friends of a slain USC graduate student say he was planning to move out of the area.

Thursday evening, the School of Engineering identified the victim as Xinran Ji, 24, from China.

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He was found dead after an apparent beating by as many as three suspects a block from his residence, a fourth-floor unit at the City Park Apartments.

Biebie Xin, a friend and next-door neighbor of Xinran’s, told CBS2’s Dave Lopez that he was going to move out after the semester.

He wanted to find a place closer to campus, she said.

“He was so excited,” she said. “He had such a positive attitude. He didn’t deserve this. He was such a nice person.”

The killing remains a mystery.

Police said Xinran was walking alone to his apartment after a late study meeting with classmates.

Lopez reported security cameras are “everywhere” in the neighborhood, and police are hopeful cameras recorded the asailants.

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On Friday, they didn’t say how much if any of the crime was captured on video.

After being assaulted by the three suspects and being hit with an unknown blunt object of some type, the victim left a lot of blood about a block from his apartment.

Somehow, Lopez reported, he was able to stagger to his home, where he died.

A woman who did not want to be identified told Lopez that the assailants attacked Xinran with a hammer.

Xinran did not speak to his female roommate. She found him dead six hours later.

Lopez said two mysteries in the case are puzzling. Why didn’t the victim use his cellphone to call for help, and why did no one come to his aid as they watched him stagger down the street?

Xinran was in his second year at the engineering school, authorities said.


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USC Graduate Student, 24, Found Dead In Apartment Near Campus