The third victim in Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings has been formally identified by Boston University as Lingzi Lu, a BU graduate student who was from China’s northeastern city of Shenyang.
According to BU Today, Lu was a graduate student in mathematics and statistics, was one of three friends who watched the race near the finish line.
Late Tuesday night, the Associated Press reported that an editor at the Shenyang Evening News said that Lu’s father confirmed his daughter’s death when reporters visited the family home. More than 14,000 comments were left on Lu’s microblogging account hosted by Sina Weibo, the AP said.
Her name has also been rendered as Lingzi Lu in published reports. The website for the Telegraph in London said her Americanized name was Dorothy Lu.
Tuesday night, as news of the death circulated among Lu’s friends and on social media, a friend of Lu’s, Meixu Lu, 24, a graduate student in the BU College of Fine Arts, said she met Lingzi last fall during a retreat to New Hampshire organized by a campus Christian fellowship group.
She said they bonded over a love of music and a shared birthplace in the Chinese city of Shenyang.
Meixu Lu, a cellist, said Lingzi planned to attend her recital on April 25. Lingzi Lu played piano and sometimes practiced on campus, Meixu said.
She said she first learned of Lu’s death from Chinese media reports.
“I’m just really shocked,” she said.
The AP and The Telegraph in London reported that Lu studied at Shenyang’s Northeast Yucai School and also studied international trade at Beijing Institute of Technology before she went to the United States to study statistics as a graduate student at Boston University.
According to the Telegraph, Yang Yongkun, a former teacher, described her as an “exceptionally clever [and] modest” student.
“I still have a strong recollection of her even though she graduated many years ago,” he told the Shenyang Evening News before Ms Lu’s death was confirmed.
She reportedly worked for the Bank of China and also spent four months working in Beijing for Deloitte Consulting between 2011 and 2012, the Telegraph reported. She moved to the US late last year to study statistics at BU, the Telegraph said.
“New Hampshire is such a great place!” Ms Lu wrote on her Facebook page on October 7. She created a photo gallery called, “New Beginning in BU.”
The formal confirmation of Lu’s identity came after frantic day in which word gradually emerged that a BU student was among the dead in Monday’s attack, which also injured more than 170 people.
The Chinese Consulate in New York has not formally released the name. It said Tuesday evening that the latest fatality was a Chinese national, but had said it was concerned that Lu was missing.
The consulate’s statement came a few hours after Boston University said that the victim was a BU graduate student. Colin Riley, a BU spokesman, declined to release the student’s name, pending discussion with the family.
According to BU Today news site, the student killed Monday was one of three friends who had been watching the Marathon near the race finish line. One of the three was injured and is in stable condition at Boston Medical Center, according to the university.
The Chinese consulate in New York identified the injured student as Zhou Danling. Chinese media said Zhou is a graduate of Wuhan University in central China, and is a student at BU in actuarial science.
“She cannot talk now but can communicate with pen and paper,” the consulate said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday.
“We are following the case closely and are trying to reach our colleagues in Boston. I believe they will release further information on site if anything comes up,” the consulate said Tuesday afternoon, adding “Our hearts goes out to all the families who had been affected.”
The AP said a working group from the Chinese Consulate was in Boston to investigate the situation and assist relatives of the victims.
BU President Robert A. Brown sent out a letter Tuesday afternoon notifying the university community of the death. He said the university could not release the names of the student who died, nor the student who was injured.
“Our hearts and thoughts go out to the family and friends of both victims,’’ Brown said, noting that a previously scheduled vigil at 5:30 pm Tuesday “takes on a deeper and more somber significance.”
At the BU vigil, Sophia Liu and Emily Liu, two Boston University graduate students who are Chinese and not related, said rumors were flying on Chinese microblogging site Weibo about the third fatality.
The students feared that Lu was the third person killed, but they had no confirmation Tuesday night.
Neither girl had met Lu before, but they said they found her Weibo profile, which was being shared by other Chinese studying in Boston. “We do hope it’s not her,” Emily Liu, 23, said. “There are a lot of rumors.”
“We just pray she’s all right. We pray for all the people injured or dead,” Emily Liu said.
Also among the injured were several area college students. Three Tufts University students, seven Emerson College students, three Northeastern University students, two Boston College students, and one Berklee College of Music student were among those injured, according to the schools.