Monday, September 14, 2009

First homicide on UC Irvine Campus

UPDATED (12:39 pm 14 September 2009): The victim in the UCI shooting has been identified as Rebecca Benedict; the trigger appears to be a doubling of child support a judge imposed on the suspect. See OC Register report.

Earlier entry:

The City of Irvine often touts itself one of America's safest cities. That may have been true, but no more. Even as college students across the country are shocked at what is believed to be the death of Annie Le, a Vietnamese American pharmacology graduate student at Yale, whose suspected body was discovered Sunday, a tragedy also happened closer to home for those in Orange County.

Last night (13 September 2009) a 30 year-old woman was killed in the parking lot at University of California, Irvine's Verano graduate housing on campus, the suspect a physics graduate student.

And earlier this month, the body of an unidentified black woman, in her 20s, was found after she was burned, in another parking lot, in an Irvine business area. See Irvine Police Department's request for help in identifying the victim. The Irvine PD press release calls Irvine "one of America's safest and most successful master-planned urban communities."

The suspect in the campus shooting death last night is, according to a report in the Orange County Register, Brian Hughes Benedict, 35, a graduate student. Benedict has been arrested and is being held on $1 million bail in Orange County Jail. He is listed as a resident of 4122 Verano Place, according to voting records, the OC Register reported. Apparently, Benedict was in a relationship with the unidentified victim; a 4-year-old child was also in the vicinity according to the report. An early Los Angeles Times story does not offer much detail.

UC Irvine records give his hometown as El Segundo, and his "major" as Physics.

In the meantime, in the Annie Le murder case, another Yalie who failed lie detector tests appears now to be a suspect, according to a news report in the New York Daily News.

Rest in Peace: Annie Le, and the two as yet unidentified Irvine victims.

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