Two men and two minors face murder charges in connection with the fatal beating and robbery of a Chinese University of Southern California grad student as he walked home late at night after leaving an off-campus study group, police said Monday.
Police said 19-year-old Jonathan DelCarmen and 18-year-old Andrew Garcia, along with two minors, had gone on a crime spree and targeted Xinran Ji early Thursday morning.
Ji was hit with a blunt object, police said. No further details were made available about how he died.
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LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said the alleged assailants had done "unspeakable things" that "shocked everyone in the department."
The suspects were arrested hours later in Dockweiler Beach after allegedly committing a separate robbery, Smith said. Officers who were searching for the vehicle connected the suspects with both crimes.
DelCarmen was booked on suspicion of murder, while the other three were booked on suspicion of murder, assault with a deadly weapon and robbery.
Smith said the charges would carry special circumstances of homicide during the commission of a robbery, which could make the suspects eligible for the death penalty.
The names of the two minors, a 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl, were not released because of their ages.
A 14-year-old girl was being questioned in Ji's death and held in connection with the Dockweiler Beach robbery, police said.
Ji, a 24-year-old electrical engineering student who loved photography, cycling and badminton, was found dead in his apartment about a block away from campus by a roommate Thursday morning. Hours earlier, he was attacked near 29th Street and Orchard Avenue. Police said he left a trail of blood.
USC officials said a memorial service was planned for later this week when Ji's parents arrived to the U.S.
"We are confident that the investigation will lead to the appropriate punishment of those who committed this heinous act," USC said in a statement. "We continue to grieve deeply as a community for Xinran, his family and his friends."
While students question the university's security, USC and LAPD have stepped up patrols in the area since the 2012 murders of two Chinese graduate students who were shot to death as they sat in their car off campus.