LOS ANGELES (AP) â” A gunman opened fire on a BMW near the University of Southern California campus on Wednesday, killing two international students from China in what may have been a bungled carjacking attempt, police said.
The gunfire erupted around 1 a.m., shattering the windows on the new 3-series luxury car. The woman was slumped in the front passenger seat, and the man was found outside the vehicle. They were both dead on arrival at a hospital, authorities said.
Investigators say it may have been a carjacking attempt. Witnesses said the car was in the roadway, not at the curb, at the time of the shooting.
“This is every parent’s nightmare,” police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said.
The gunman fled and no one has been arrested, Smith said. Police have taken the $60,000 BMW away for examination and were attempting to determine if there were any surveillance cameras in the area.
Smith said the names of the woman, about 20 years old, and the man are being withheld, while their families are notified.
Chinese college students have helped fuel record international student enrollment on U.S. campuses in recent years. Students from China represent nearly one-fourth of the nearly 724,000 international students attending colleges and universities in this country.
The USC Department of Public Safety sent an email alert to students, saying that two people were shot in front of a residence.
“The female victim has been identified as a USC graduate student,” the alert read. “Los Angeles Police Department responded immediately to the scene and the victims were taken to California Hospital where they were pronounced dead.”
“The circumstances surrounding the shooting are unclear,” the alert said, adding, “As the university mourns this tragic loss, DPS urges students to be mindful of their surroundings.”