LAPD and USC news conference
The following video contains unedited prepared remarks made at an April 13, 2012, news conference in the West Adams neighborhood of Los Angeles about the homicides of USC graduate students Ying Wu and Ming Qu.
The English and Chinese transcripts follow (中文版发言如下):
First of all, I’m Deputy Chief Pat Gannon from Operations South Bureau of Los Angeles Police Department. …
This morning when we were trying to decide where this press conference would be held we knew it was going to rain. We just didn’t know it was going to rain this hard. We apologize for the inconvenience for everybody. But we think it’s important that we have it at the actual scene where these two murders occurred. And actually the weather right now is exactly like the weather it was that evening. So there is some symbolism to this and I appreciate your cooperation and your willingness to work with us.
The purpose of today’s press conference is to ask for the public’s help in finding the individual or individuals who are responsible for the tragic deaths of Miss Ying Wu and Mr. Ming Qu, who were murdered in this very spot in the very early morning hours of this past Wednesday.
To help in this effort we are also here to announce a reward – sponsored by the University of Southern California – that we hope will help find the people responsible for this despicable act.
With us here today are representatives of my leadership team: Cmdr. Bob Green; Capt. Melissa Zak, the commanding officer at Southwest Community Police Station; Capt. Nancy Lauer, who is the commanding officer of the Criminal Gang and Homicide Division. Also here with us today from the Chinese Consulate: Mr. Chin. Also here today from the University of Southern California: Mr. Todd Dickey, senior vice president for administration; Mr. Michael Jackson, vice president of student affairs.
Also with us today and she was going to speak later is Ms. Jacqueline Hamilton, a neighbor in the community, who will share her thoughts on this tragedy.
Capt. Lauer who I just announced and her experienced homicide detectives are leading this investigation. They are working very hard to solve these murders in the same fashion that they would work to solve all murders in South Los Angeles.
In South Los Angeles we are blessed to have great relationships with a number of federal agencies that assist us on a daily basis with our homicide investigations. In particular, the FBI has partnered with us over the past two years to help solve homicides in South Los Angeles.
The LAPD-FBI operation Save Our Street task force has also been assigned to this investigation. The architect of the SOS task force, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Robert Clark from the FBI Los Angeles field office, is also with us here today and behind me.
To recap this tragedy, on Wednesday at approximately 1 o’clock in the morning Ming Qu (23 years of age) and his friend Ying Wu (also 23 years of age) were sitting in Ming’s car, which was double-parked at this exact location.
It had been raining that evening. These young, hardworking graduate students were talking like they had done many times before. We have been told by friends and associates that Ming and Ying were serious about their studies and often studied late into the night and use these late-night meetings as an opportunity to talk outside the house, where she rented a modest room.
It appears at this point that a suspect – who is unknown to us at this time – approached Ming’s vehicle and at some point pulled out a handgun and fired approximately two or three shots into the driver-side window. Both Ming and Ying were struck by the gunfire. It appears by the evidence at the scene and by the witness statements that Ming was able to get out of the car, stagger to a nearby house and collapsed on the front porch.
A possible suspect in this case was last seen running southbound on Raymond Avenue. At about the same time, a black sedan was also seen leaving the area. The only description that we have at this point in the investigation is that the suspect was wearing dark clothing.
We do not know for certain the suspect’s gender or race. LAPD and fire department units responded to the scene within minutes and transported the victims to California Medical Center where they succumbed to their injuries and were pronounced dead
The investigations into these murders have been virtually nonstop since Wednesday morning. Evidence at the scene has been recovered and is being analyzed. The area has been canvassed repeatedly and witnesses have been interviewed and re-interviewed in hopes of finding bits and pieces of information that will help us.
In the end, a successful resolution of this case will only happen with the help of the public. I am pleading for their help in this case. If you, who are hearing this today, were in this area in the early morning hours on Wednesday and saw anything, please give us a call. If you hear a rumor about this case, please give us a call. If you heard someone brag about this incident, please give us a call.
As you can see this is a great community. This is a great neighborhood that in the past has faced many challenges. However, with the community’s help this area has improved dramatically over the years. In the past five years, in the area immediately surrounding this in the reporting district around this, we’ve had a total of three murders in this area in the last five years. In fact, violent crime in this area is down nearly 50 percent as it relates to just five years ago.
It is for that reason that I believe that we see a greater increase in the number of students as they move farther west of the campus of University of Southern California.
Please help me find these killers. Please help the families that will be coming from China to recover their loved ones, for me to be able to tell them soon that we have resolved this case.
As a parent of a college student – as a parent of a graduate college student who does not live at home – I can relate to these parents. I can’t imagine being thousands and thousands of miles away and having something tragic like this happen and not be there to be able to hold my child. It is the worst news that a parent could ever have and I ask you please for your help.
I’d like to introduce Mr. Jackson from USC.
Thank you very much chief and good afternoon everyone. Today we mourn the loss of two incredibly bright, hardworking and wonderful students, who are treasured members of the USC Trojan Family. Ming Qu and Ying Wu.
Ying was from Hunan Province in China from a family of modest means but lots of dreams. Her father works for the police department and her mother was retired. She attended university in her home country before coming to USC to earn a master’s degree in electrical engineering.
Ming is from [unintelligible] China and graduated from Northeastern University before coming to USC to earn his master’s degree in electrical engineering. His mother is a high school teacher and his father works for an insurance company.
As you heard from the chief they were very close friends who supported each other, studied hard in class and formed close bonds and friendships with faculty in the Viterbi School of Engineering and with other students from China, from America and around the world.
We are deeply sorry that they are no longer with us. We want to thank everyone who has expressed their support and sympathy for our USC community and our neighbors here in Los Angeles, China and around the world where we have many parents and students and alumni and friends and colleagues and supporters.
We sincerely appreciate all of their phone calls, email messages, flowers and other expressions of support.
We are a strong university community and are supporting each other as we mourn the deaths of these brilliant and accomplished young people.
We are now focused on supporting Ming and Ying’s families and friends in this time of tragedy. And we have arranged for them to come to Los Angeles and they will be here shortly. That is our focus: on supporting the family and students.
Every student is precious to us. No matter where they’re from, no matter what their dreams are. And as the chief said we really need the support of the public to find out who did this so that we can bring them to justice and bring some sense of comfort to the families.
Now I’d like to introduce senior vice president for administration at USC Mr. Todd Dickey. Thank you.
Good afternoon, my name is Todd Dickey, I’m senior vice president for administration at USC and in that capacity I oversee the university’s Department of Public Safety.
First let me express the university’s deep appreciation to the city, to Mayor Villaraigosa, to Chief Beck, to Deputy Chief Gannon and to everyone at the LAPD. We know they are doing everything in their power to solve this crime and we know there are a lot of people working very long hours to find out who did this, so we just want to say thank you very much.
USC and the LAPD have a very close working relationship and we’re proud of the efforts we’ve undertaken together in improving safety and security in the neighborhoods around the university, and in fact, we’ve seen a significant decrease in crime in the neighborhoods around USC in recent years.
Working in cooperation with the LAPD, USC is supporting this investigation today by offering an award of $125,000 to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for this crime.
Please, if anyone out there has any information that could help us solve this crime, we encourage you to come forward and contact the LAPD.
On behalf of everyone at USC let me thank everyone who has expressed their support and sympathy to our university community and to the families of our two students. Thank you. And now Jaclyn Hamilton, our neighbor, will speak.
I’m Jacqueline Hamilton and we were host family to Ying Wu. She lived with us since June of last year. She was a very determined young woman who enjoyed cooking and spent a lot of time in the library. I still can’t quite believe that Ying is never coming home again.
She ate dinner with us, she was a member of our family, as are the other two Chinese students who live with us and who have been devastated by this.
I’ve lived in this neighborhood since 2001. We chose to live here intentionally because we could see it was a neighborhood that needed people to invest in it but it had a lot of promise. And in the 11 years since my husband, my daughter and I moved here we’ve hosted probably 25 international students, mostly from USC, and really enjoyed the richness that they brought to our lives.
We’ve seen this neighborhood go from the state which the chief described, having some real crime, to never having to worry about coming home late at night. Never fearing that someone was going to somehow invade our home. So this has been a triple shock because it’s completely unexpected and untypical of what’s happened in this area in the last many years.
What I can tell you about Ying and what I hope will motivate someone to come forward is that I’ve never seen her happier than she was in the last three weeks. I don’t even know if you could officially call it dating but she and Ming had started seeing each other a lot and were at that stage in a relationship where you really find that person interesting and you can’t bear to part.
And they would often spend time having ridden in their bicycles, which is how they always traveled, I never knew there was a car involved because they always traveled on bicycles. They would spend time perched in the driveway straddling their bikes, talking for up to an hour.
Come home, come in, why are you outside? Come sit on the porch. Sometimes they would sit on the porch and talk for up to a half an hour or more because I think they were really getting to like each other a lot and couldn’t bear to part. And she has had a smile on her face for the last several weeks that hard study didn’t put there. She lived modestly: she had a roommate, as did Ming. They had many roommates, from what I understand. They cooked at home, they didn’t eat out, they didn’t live extravagantly, they didn’t have expensive wardrobes, they were modest students trying to make a life for themselves and achieve the promise that they saw available to them through a good education.
That means people have been cut down before they reach the age of 24 is astounding and I plead with anyone who has the information about this to come forward and help us make sure that these young peoples’ deaths do not go unaddressed. We are devastated by their loss.
LAPD has been great. I’ve joked with the family members who have called with concerns that right now this is certainly the safest block in all of Los Angeles, but even without this increased attention we live in an area that deserves to be considered a nice neighborhood.
And I hope that as you and in the press and the rest of the people around the world learn about our neighborhood they appreciate the lovely architecture, the close relationships I know my neighborhood and frankly I know that someone out there knows who did this. And I beg you, please come forward.
首先自我介绍，我是Pat Gannon, 洛杉矶警局南区管理局副警长。
我们今早在考虑新闻发布会举行地时，已经了解到届时会下雨，但我们没有预料到雨这么大。我们在此为给各位带来的不便道歉 。但是我们认为在谋杀案发生现场举办新闻发布会意义重大。而且目前的天气情况也和案发当夜如出一辙，这其中有着某种象征意义 。我真诚感谢大家的积极配合以及合作意愿。
今天参加新闻发布会的领导们包括：Bob Green长官，南部社区警队指挥官Milissa Zak，犯罪团伙及凶杀调查部门指挥官Nancy Lauer。另外，出席发布会的还有来自中国领事馆的Chin先生，来自南加州大学的行政部门高级副主席Todd Dickey先生；已经学生事务部副主席Michael Jackson先生。