Host mother of slain USC student defends her neighborhood

The USC community and the Adams-Normandie neighborhood are still grieving from the tragic murders of two graduate students. Ying Wu and Ming Qu, both 23, were shot at 1 a.m. on April 11 on Raymond Avenue near West 27th Street.

The electrical engineering students from China were attacked as they sat in Qu’s 2003 BMW as it was double-parked on the street. Police have no suspects and no motive for the shooting, though they are investigating whether it was an attempted carjacking or stemmed from a robbery. A $200,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the murders.

The killings have raised alarm bells for USC students, especially among the more than 2,500 Chinese students who attend USC. The area where the students were killed has been described in media reports as gang-infested, dangerous and a high-crime neighborhood. Some USC students say they are afraid to venture west of Vermont because of safety concerns.

LAPD and USC both say violent crime in that area just northwest of the USC campus has gone down significantly in the last year, and they view this crime as isolated. The Los Angeles Times Crime Map lists the Adams-Normandie neighborhood as having the 27th highest violent crime rate out of 209 neighborhoods.

image Jacqueline Hamilton in a file photo (Photo by Karla Robinson)

Jacqueline Hamilton was the host mother for Ying Wu. Hamilton has lived on Raymond Avenue for 11 years and says in the last six years the neighborhood has become safer. She spoke by telephone with Sara Harris, host of Hear in the City radio program on KPFK-FM. Listen to the interview:

Hear in the City airs Tuesdays at 2:30 p.m. on KPFK, 90. FM. To hear the entire program in which this interview was featured, click here .

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