Fullerton Coach Killed: Murders of Monica Quan, Fiance Stump Cops

Tuesday, 05 Feb 2013 08:53 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence, a popular California couple best known for their college basketball careers, were found shot to death in their parked car Sunday, leaving a community stunned and scrambling for answers.

Police told the Los Angeles Times a passerby noticed the two slumped over in a white Kia — Lawrence, 27, behind the wheel with Quan, 28, next to him — and reported it Sunday. Lawrence and Quan were both shot multiple times, but authorities said they had tentatively ruled out the possibility of it being a murder-suicide or violence motivated by robbery. Nothing in the car, police said, seemed to be disturbed.

"They could tell by physical evidence," Irvine police Lt. Julia Engen told the Times. "The car wasn't rummaged through." Engen also said there was no clear motive.

The couple, newly engaged, had just moved into a condominium complex near Concordia University in Irvine, where they had met, earned their degrees, and played basketball. The car was found on the top floor of the complex's high-security parking garage. Entry requires a key code and the area is closely monitored by security cameras, a resident told the Times.

"We moved here because it was so safe — Irvine was the safest city in America," said Sharon Smith, who has lived in the complex for a few years.

Quan graduated from Walnut High School, in the San Gabriel Valley, in 2002, where she set school records for most three-pointers in a season and in a game. She played for Long Beach State and Concordia, and graduated in 2007 with a degree in exercise sports science. Quan went on to earn her master's degree, also from Concordia, in 2009 in coaching and athletic administration. At the time of her death, she was working as assistant women's basketball coach at Cal State Fullerton.

Quan's father, Randal Quan, was the first Chinese American captain in the Los Angeles Police Department and later served as the police chief at Cal Poly Pomona.

Lawrence was a standout shooting and point guard during his days at Moorpark High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration at Concordia and was responsible for making the winning shot in the NAIA National Tournament Semifinals, earning his team a trip to the 2007 NAIA National Championship game.

After college, Lawrence attended the Ventura County Sheriff's Academy. The public safety department at the University of Southern California hired him in August.

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