Announcement of the reward came at a Friday afternoon press conference with police, who made an emotional plea to find the gunman.
"It's the worst news that a parent can ever have, and I ask you please for your help," said LAPD Dep. Chief Pat Gannon.
Yet clues are sparse. Ying Wu and Minh Qu were parked in front of the house where Wu shared a rented room around 1 a.m. Wednesday. The two had spent the evening at the lab.
Investigators say a black sedan drove down Raymond Avenue as the gunman shot the two, then ran away. The suspect stole some items that investigators will not specify. Police say the gunman was wearing dark clothing, but they are not sure of the person's gender or race.
Travel plans were underway to bring Wu and Qu's parents to the USC campus.
Meanwile, debate continues over the safety in the neighborhood. LAPD and neighbors say crime is down significantly.
Jacqueline Hamilton is a vocal advocate in this case. It was in her home with her family that Wu lived for almost a year, learning American culture, practicing English and sharing meals.
"Frankly I refuse to allow some idiot with a gun to take from me my sense of my place in my community, and make me feel unsafe," said Hamilton.
Through the media, news of the violence has traveled to Beijing. USC officials who recruit top students say university representatives are in China are meeting with concerned parents.
All will be much safer when the killer is caught.
"I know my neighborhood and frankly I know that someone out there knows who did this," said Hamilton. "And I beg you, please come forward."
The LAPD is asking anyone with information to call their tip line at 1-877-LAPD-24-7.