Student and parent fears about the crime-ridden area surrounding USC have not been quelled, this morning, by another attempted robbery and shooting near campus.
Just after 12:30 a.m., four students were walking near Pi Beta Phi sorority house on “The Row” near West 28th Street and Figueroa, according to the Daily Trojan. When a suspect since identified as 24-year-old Compton resident Jeremy Hendricks allegedly ran up to them and “demanded their property” …
… they gave him what he wanted, says the school newspaper.
Their willingness may have had something to do with the tragic double homicide of electrical-engineering grad students Ying Wu and Ming Qu, studying abroad from China, almost exactly one week prior. Although cops originally thought Wu and Qu were murdered for their BMW, witness reports have since suggested that the person who shot them had demanded their personal property, which they perhaps refused to give up. (One anonymous caller to KFI radio said “word on the street” was that the shooter, a recent parolee, shot Qu in the head in a desperate attempt to get his iPhone.)
The Los Angeles Times reports that Hendricks, a documented Compton gangster, has an arrest record of “assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and robbery,” and is currently on probation.
The suspect was gunned down by a USC Department of Public Safety officer early this morning in a parking lot near 30th Street and Shrine Place, two blocks from the spot where Hendricks had allegedly robbed the USC students.
The USC officer shot Hendricks in the leg after seeing him flash a handgun, but the suspected robber is expected to survive. We've contacted Department of Public Safety Captain David Carlisle for more on the department's training and policy in situations like these.
Although there have been robberies reported in this area in the past, it's not nearly as notorious as the neighborhood where Wu and Qu were killed, some 10 blocks west. (Evidenced by “The Row” of frat and sorority houses near Figueroa.)
And ironically, as City News Service notes, the private university's Shrine Auditorium sits just a couple blocks away from the latest crime scene. Friends of Wu and Qu, along with family in town from China and a select few media outlets, will gather at the auditorium this very evening for the slain students' official memorial service.