A young, recently engaged couple was tragically murdered Sunday in an Irvine condominium parking garage.
Monica Quan, 28, was in her second year as the assistant girls’ basketball coach at Cal State Fullerton and her fiancé Keith Lawrence, 27, was recently hired as a USC patrol officer. Lawrence was found in the driver’s seat of his car, slumped behind the steering wheel and Quan was next to him in the passenger side. Both appeared to have died from fatal gunshot wounds.
Though police have released few details, they have reported that it was neither a murder-suicide nor a robbery. The motives for the attack remain unclear at this point in the investigation, according to the Irvine Police Department, and no suspects have been arrested.
The couple met at Concordia University in Irvine, where they both excelled as basketball players. Quan had graduated from Concordia in 2007 with a degree in exercise sports science, and then got her master’s degree in coaching and athletic administration. Her love for the sport drew her to coaching first at Cal Lutheran in Thousand Oaks and then at Cal State Fullerton.
"As a second-year assistant, she was someone I called on to tell me the truth," Head Coach Marcia Foster said at a press conference Monday. "I love that about her. I loved her work ethic. I loved her passion for life."
Lawrence got his degree in business administration, but had always wanted to become a police officer. A photograph on his Facebook shows him in uniform the day he graduated from Ventura County Sheriff’s Academy with Quan by his side.
USC hired Lawrence in August as an armed officer. USC’s Public Safety Chief John Thomas issued a memo Monday regarding his death:
“During his brief tenure of service here at USC, Officer Lawrence proved to be an honorable, compassionate and professional member of our department and the Trojan family," he wrote. "We are a better department and the USC Campus Community is a safer place as a result of his service."
The couple had recently moved into the condominium complex and had gotten engaged only weeks earlier. Hundreds of comments have flooded Facebook memorial pages to pay tribute to the couple.