USC shooting: Charges filed in killing of graduate students


Bryan Barnes, 20, and Javier Bolden, 19, were charged on Tuesday with special circumstance murder and other counts in the murders of Ming Qu and Ying Wu, the district attorney's office announced. They are being held without bail.

Barnes and Bolden made their first appearance in court on Tuesday to be arraigned, but the arraignment was continued to June 25.

According to the complaint, Barnes and Bolden carried out a crime spree. They are accused in multiple shootings, culminating in the murder of the two young USC students.

The special circumstances of multiple murders and murder during the commission of a robbery makes the suspects eligible for the death penalty. Prosecutors will decide at a later date whether to seek the death penalty in this case.

Qu and Wu were one month shy of getting their graduate degrees in engineering. On April 11, Wu and Qu were gunned down while sitting in a car on the 2700 block of Raymond Avenue near campus in a botched robbery attempt.

Police arrested Bolden and Barnes for the murders on Friday. Investigators said at the time that some of the victims' belongings were missing. Eyewitness News has learned that one item was a cellphone, which helped link the suspects to the crime. An LAPD source said the stolen phone was sold, and the buyer was able to connect it to Barnes.

In addition, bullet casings collected at the scene matched two previous shootings: Barnes and Bolden are accused in the premeditated murder of Tim Hall on Dec. 3. On Feb. 12, the duo allegedly tried to kill two other people, Zanae Flowers and Deionce Davance.

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