[Updates: 02-07-13] Tragedy strikes Cal State Fullerton women’s basketball, assistant coach Monica Quan and fiancé found shot to death

Monica Quan
Monica Quan

Cal State Fullerton women’s basketball assistant coach Monica Quan and her fiancé Keith Lawrence were found murdered in a car Sunday night, February 3. KABC reported the bodies of a man and woman were found in their vehicle on the top floor of a parking garage in Irvine, Calif. Police are investigating the deaths as a double homicide.

Quan was in her second year as an assistant at Cal State-Fullerton. She was 28 years old, while her fiancé was 27.

Updates since the story was first reported (see coach and university statements below).

February 7 – 9 a.m.

Los Angeles Times
“A manhunt involving multiple law enforcement agencies was underway early Thursday after three police officers were shot — one fatally — in Riverside County. Authorities believe that the suspect is a former Los Angeles police officer already wanted in connection with two Orange County slayings.”

The California Highway Patrol issued a “blue alert” for nine counties.  Dorner is believed to be driving a 2005 blue or gray Nissan Titan, with California license plate 8D83987 or 7X09131.

February 6 – The autopsies of Quan and Lawrence were released. The coroner’s report says that the victims died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Police identified a suspect, Christopher Dorner, an ex-Los Angeles Police Department officer fired from the force for making false statements about his training officer. Quan’s father was the first Chinese-American captain in the LAPD. Dorner posted a manifesto online about the murders.

The team’s head coach Marcia Foster spoke at a press conference Monday afternoon about Quan.

“I’m sorry that we are gathered here today for news like this. There are really no words to convey the sadness that our program feels, that the young women who have had the privilege of working with such a bright and passionate woman. I want to especially send out condolences to Randal and Sylvia Quan, and her brother Ryan.”

“We just shared a moment of incredible joy with Monica on her recent engagement. Here’s what I want to tell you, I want to tell you that a really bright light was put out way too soon. Somebody, whose passion was impacting young women through the game of basketball, has been taken away from us in a very unfortunate situation.”

“As a second-year assistant for me, she was someone I counted on to tell me the truth, I loved that about her. I loved her work ethic. I loved her passion for life. We are going to have some work to do because too many young women have been affected by this.”

The university issued a statement on the tragedy:

“We can confirm that the information we have at this time indicates that Cal State Fullerton Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach Monica Quan was a victim in what law enforcement is characterizing as an apparent double homicide in Irvine.”

“The loss of any member of the Titan family causes our community great grief, but the loss of one of our own under these circumstances is indeed tragic and heartwrenching.”

“We hope that Monica’s family and friends will feel and be comforted by our support during this difficult time.”

“Counselors will be working with our staff and student-athletes as we all begin to struggle with the suddenness of losing such a special member of our university.”

Quan’s bio on the CSUF website:

“Before coming to CSUF Quan served as a lead assistant for Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. She helped lead the Regals to a combined 33-18 overall record over her two seasons and a 19-9 mark in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, including a 19-7 overall record and a third-place conference finish in 2009-10. The win total and finish was the highest for Cal Lutheran since 2005-06.”

“Quan’s playing career began at Big West Conference rival Long Beach State, where she spent two seasons with the 49ers from 2003-05 before transferring to Concordia University in Irvine, CA. There, she wrapped up her career with a strong senior season, averaging 6.1 points and 1.6 rebounds per game while finishing second on the team with 77 assists.”

“She was a four-year letter winner at Walnut High School, earning All-CIF, All-Baseline League, and all-region honors during her prep career. A member of the Walnut High School Hall of Fame, Quan set school records for most three-pointers during a season (59) and a game (7) while averaging 15 points, six assists, three steals, and two rebounds as a senior.”

“The daughter of Sylvia and Randal, Quan graduated from Concordia in 2007 with a degree in exercise and sport science and completed her master’s in 2009.”

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