Neighbors say crime had decreased in the area where 2 USC students were shot

Erika Aguilar/KPCC

Neighbors and USC students placed flowers in front of the house the male victim tried to crawl to for help.

Los Angeles Police have not found the person responsible for killing two Chinese graduate students from USC. Early Wednesday morning, neighbors woke up to gunshots and police sirens — two sounds residents in that neighborhood haven't heard in a long time.

Shattered glass had spilled in the middle of Raymond Avenue. That’s where the two students, Ying Wu and Ming Qu, sat in a BMW when someone approached them and shot.

Neighbors say the street had had a reputation for gang and drug activity, but that it had cleaned up recently.

LaVern Wilson has lived on the street for more than 50 years. She said it’s changed even more as families move out and more students and renters move in.

"They are renting more now to students then they did years ago," she said. "Years ago they didn’t have any students really living here. Now that USC is getting larger and they are expanding out, they are looking for more homes around here that will rent to students."

USC students trickled in and out of the neighborhood Wednesday, leaving flowers at the house Ying Wu had lived in. Some said university officials warned them about living outside the security zone — neighborhoods close to campus where USC public safety officers patrol.

After the shooting, the university placed a kiosk for those officers at the corner of Raymond Avenue and West 27th Street.

Several vigil were planned for Wednesday evening, including one at 7:30 p.m. near the Tommy Trojan statue, a USC landmark.

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