The parents of two USC graduate students who were killed last month on Raymond Avenue, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the university claiming they were given false expectations for the area's safety.
Wanzhi Qu and Xiaohong Fei, parents of Ming Qu; and Xiyong Wu and Meinan Yin, parents of Ying Wu, filed the suit Wednesday on behalf seeking unspecified damages on behalf of their children.
On April 11, Wu and Qu sitting in their luxury car on Raymond Avenue near the university when a man approached them and ordered them to get out. When they refused, he opened fire -- shattering the car windows and killing them both.
Wu was found in the car; Qu managed to walk to a nearby home before collapsing. Both were pronounced dead on arrival to the California Hospital Medical Center in Downtown.
The lawsuit says USC misled Qu and Wu's parents by advertising itself as one of the safest universities, the Los Angeles Times reports. The suit also states that USC claims to provide 24-hour campus and neighborhood security -- but that in reality, the school didn't patrol at all in the neighborhood where the shooting occurred.
According to NBC, the claims also include that USC “actively solicits international students particularly from China for its graduate studies program for which it receives a substantial sum of money from tuition to help fund the university.”
In a response to the lawsuit, USC attorney Debra Wong Yang issued a statement stating that they had met with the parents and offered them money as a gesture of kindness but that the offer was denied.
"While we have deep sympathy for the victims' families, this lawsuit is baseless and we will move to have it dismissed," Yang said.
Following Wu and Qu's deaths, USC's Vice President of Student Affairs, Michael L. Jackson and Senior Vice President of Administration, Todd Dickey, released a statement acknowledging the incident and reassuring students and their families of the university's safety record:
This incident occurred outside the neighborhood areas where over the past several years we have steadily increased our security presence, adding dozens of security and license plate recognition cameras, uniformed officers, and yellow-jacketed security ambassadors. However, tragedies such as this morning’s remind us that we all need to be continuously vigilant about safety and security.