LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Los Angeles police said Friday they have arrested two suspects in the killings of two Chinese graduate students slain near the University of Southern California last month.
Ming Qu and Ying Wu, both 23, were fatally shot early on April 11 as they were sitting in a parked car outside Wu's rented home, a few blocks from the USC campus.
Bryan Barnes, 20, and Javier Bolden, 19, were arrested on Friday without incident in swoops on two homes, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement. Both men were charged with murder and are being held without bail.
"I am proud of my investigators who worked tirelessly on this case," Chief Charlie Beck said in a statement. "This was a case that reverberated throughout Los Angeles as well as internationally; this was a case that needed to be solved," he added.
The murders sparked a debate over whether USC provides adequate security measures in neighborhoods adjacent to the Los Angeles campus where many students live.
Earlier this week the two students' families filed a wrongful death lawsuit accusing the school of misrepresenting the area where they were shot as safe and failing to provide security patrols.
The 15-page lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court said that USC provides security in some areas around the campus, but not where the shooting of the two students occurred. It seeks unspecified damages.
Debra Wong Yang, an attorney for USC, called the killing a "random violent act" unrelated to security in and around campus. She said the school would seek to have the lawsuit dismissed.
The city of Los Angeles and the university offered a combined $200,000 reward for information that would help solve the crime. It was not immediately clear if the reward had been claimed.
A police source who requested anonymity because the investigation is ongoing told the Los Angeles Times ballistic tests on shell casings recovered at the scene of the USC shooting show they were fired from the same gun used in two other shootings.
Police initially said that some unspecified property of the victims was taken, suggesting robbery might have been a factor.
USC had more than 7,200 international students enrolled in 2011, and the largest group was from China, the school's website said. The school charges those students over $30,000 a year for tuition, Newman said.
(Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Eric Walsh)
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