International Grad Student Found Dead in Apartment

An international grad student from China was found dead in his apartment after being attacked near campus.

Updated July 30, 2014

An international grad student was walking home from a study group on Thursday, July 24 when he was attacked by four teens.

Xinran Ji, 24,from China was studying engineering at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles. Police said he was attacked with a baseball bat and a wrench around 12:45 a.m. After the attack, Xinran was able to make his way back to his apartment where he later died. His body was discovered by his roommate at 7 a.m.

Two of the suspects are juveniles, Alberto Ochoa, 17, and Alejandra Guerrero, 16. The two additional suspects are Andrew Garcia, 19, and Jonathan Del Carmen, 19. They will be arraigned on August 12. Each teen faces one count of murder with a special circumstance of murder during an attempted robbery. Garcia, Ochoa and Guerrero face a special allegation for personally using dangerous weapons.

If convicted, Garcia and Del Carmen could face the death penalty and Ochoa and Guerrero could get life in prison without possibility of parole (because they are under 18).

Police said they believe these teens were also responsible for trying to rob another man and woman the same night. The man was able to escape and called the police.

According to the Seattle Pi, Xinran’s parents are struggling to get visas to come to the United States. In a statement they shared that they are deeply concerned about students at USC, especially those from China.

“We hope that USC can enhance security and guarantee the safety of USC students,” they said.

 Watch this video of when the news first reported Xinran’s death

 

Back in 2012, two Chinese graduate students studying electrical engineering were shot to death while sitting in a BMW near campus. Their families sued the university because they said they were lead to believe USC was one of the safest campuses in the United States.

How safe do you feel on your campus? Here are some quick tips to keep yourself safe:

1. Make sure you have the police department’s phone number saved on your cell phone.

2. Does your university have an emergency text messaging system? Sign up to receive emergency text messages.

3. Most universities in the U.S., it’s illegal to have a weapon on campus. If you see anyone with a gun, call the police department.

4. If you work at an office, have an exit strategy if an emergency would happen. How would you leave the building? If you have to protect yourself, do you have something in your office that could be a weapon?

5. NEVER NEVER NEVER walk alone at night. Make sure you are with someone. Some universities/colleges have a security escort service. Never walk alone!

Information and photograph courtesy of LA Times.
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