Crime & Justice

LAPD identifies suspects in murder of USC student from China

Students walk past an entrance to the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles on April 11, 2012 in California.
Students walk past an entrance to the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles on April 11, 2012 in California.
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

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Los Angeles police have arrested four suspects in connection with the beating death of USC graduate student Xinran Ji near campus in the early hours of Thursday morning, July 24. A fifth is being held as police investigate her involvement in the incident.

Police say Ji, an engineering graduate student from China, was one of several victims the suspects assaulted that night. 

Update: 5:08 p.m.: Suspects ID'd in murder of USC student

Three juveniles and two adults have been arrested and charged with the murder of USC student Xinran Ji, who was attacked near campus in the early hours of July 24 and later died at his home. 

At a press conference Monday, LAPD South Bureau Commander Bill Scott said Andrew Garcia, 18, was charged with murder with special circumstances. Jonathan DelCarmen, 19, was charged with murder with special circumstances, assault with a deadly weapon and robbery. 

A male and female juvenile —whose names were not released — were also charged with murder with special circumstances, assault with a deadly weapon and robbery. 

"What 'special circumstances' means is in these four cases — these four individuals — that makes them eligible as a penalty, to receive the punishment of death," Scott said.

A 14-year-old girl is also being held in connection with a separate incident in Dockweiler Beach. "We're still looking at the detail and depth of involvement in the USC incident," LAPD spokesman Andrew Smith said.

None of the suspects are thought to be tied to gangs, Smith said, adding that the attack appeared to be part of a crime spree and that Ji had been the victim of a robbery.

"The suspects in this case we believe drove many miles to the area of Dockweiler Beach," Smith said. "And we believe they were involved in another robbery of other individuals in that area." 

Police picked up two of the suspects at that scene and were able to apprehend the rest later over the course of the day. 

"I don’t know why a group of young people would go on a crime spree as terrible as this and do these kinds of unspeakable things to someone walking home at night," Smith said. "I don’t know what goes into people’s minds when they do something like that, but it shocked everybody in this department. ... Even seasoned homicide detectives would stop talking and shake their heads and say, 'What kind of person would do something like this to an innocent guy like this?'” 

Update 3:28 p.m.: LAPD makes a series of arrests in killing of Chinese USC student

The LAPD's South Bureau commander said they arrested three juveniles and two adults, but would not release the names. Details of the arrests are expected to be announced at a 4:30 p.m. news conference at the Police Administration Building in downtown Los Angeles, LAPD spokesperson Wendy Reyes told KPCC. 

The 24-year-old engineering graduate student, Xinran Ji, was found dead Thursday morning in his on the 1200 block of West 30th Street apartment, Los Angeles police report. 

Police believe the student was assaulted by at least three suspects with a blunt object as he was walking a few blocks from campus back to his apartment around 12:45 a.m. Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reported. 

This story will be updated.