LOS ANGELES - A gunman opened fire on a BMW near the University of Southern California campus Wednesday, killing two international students from China in what may have been a bungled carjacking attempt, police said.
The couple was sitting in the new 3-series luxury car when the gunman fired around 1 a.m., shattering the car windows. The woman, Ying Wu, was slumped in the front passenger seat.
The wounded man, Ming Qu, managed to get out of the car and run to a nearby home, where he pounded on the door pleading for help, and someone called 911, police Commander Andrew Smith said. It was not known if anyone answered the door before the man collapsed.
Paramedics took the victims downtown to California Hospital Medical Center, where they were dead on arrival, authorities said. Both were in their 20s.
“This is every parent’s nightmare,’’ Smith said.
Investigators say it may have been a robbery or a carjacking attempt. Witnesses said the car was in the roadway, not at the curb, during the shooting.
Whoever shot the two fled, and no one has been arrested, Smith said. Police have taken the $60,000 BMW for examination and attempting to determine if there were any surveillance cameras in the area.
Four people have been killed this year in the area, police said, but violent crime is down 20 percent from 2011.
USC is in an urban center not far from gang-infested neighborhoods. But gentrification has begun in the district.
Beatriz Moreno, who lives across the street with her family from where the shooting occurred, said the neighborhood has been cleaned up. The last shooting she could recall was in 2003. “We used to see this every day,’’ she said. “This isn’t normal.’’