Yesterday I was saddened and shocked by the news of two USC students being shot to death. Death and violence is always a terrible thing. But this event hit home for me more than most.
Ying Wu and Ming Qu were both Chinese international graduate students at USC. This campus has been my home, workplace and neighborhood for over 13 years - I attended college here, and have worked as a campus minister since graduating. Several years ago, I began working as a minister for international students, and see this community as family. Many of the students I am connected with are Chinese graduate students. I didn't personally know the victims of the shootings, but am a mere one degree away, as I know several of Ying and Ming's friends. Our home and church are both near to the shootings, and even though I don't feel afraid in this neighborhood, it still is a jolting reality that violent acts like this can and do happen.
I am sad. I am sad for the lost, precious lives of these two students. I am sad for their families, as they grieve and mourn. I am sad for the Chinese international community's fear and confusion. Many thoughts and emotions have flooded over me since I heard the news, but mostly, I am sad.