CSUF Coach, Fiance Shot to Death in Irvine

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RAFU STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

IRVINE — A college basketball coach and her fiance were found shot to death in a car at their upscale condominium complex in Orange County, and authorities say they have no motive or suspects in the killing.

Monica Quan

Cal State Fullerton assistant women’s basketball coach Monica Quan, 28, and her fiance Keith Lawrence, 27, were found dead around 9 p.m. Sunday on the top floor of a parking structure at the complex, police said. Officers found their bodies after someone reported seeing Lawrence slumped over the wheel of his vehicle.

Quan was found in the front passenger seat and Lawrence was in the driver seat, Irvine Police Lt. Julia Engen said.

“It doesn’t appear they were robbed,” Engen told The Orange County Register. “There’s no obvious motive.”

Engen said the couple recently moved into the condominium complex. The parking structure requires a key-code for entry and there are security cameras throughout the complex, a resident told The Los Angeles Times.

Few other details have been released.

Quan played in the Orange Coast Optimist (OCO) basketball league from 9th through 12th grade. Her coach, Jesse James, said he was in shock at the loss of Quan, whom he described as an incredibly gifted athlete. He said former teammates have been sending messages to one another since the news broke late Sunday.

“They won three senior upper championships and dominated Japanese play. Only lost one game in three years, that’s how good she was,” said James, who is an advisor for the OCO youth club.

He said her parents, Sylvia and Randal Quan, wouldn’t miss going to watch her basketball games. Her father was the first Chinese American in the Los Angeles Police Department.

“No parents could love their kids more than they could,” James said.

Lawrence and Quan played basketball at Concordia University in Irvine, and Quan was in her second season as an assistant coach at Cal State Fullerton, under Coach Marcia Foster. Before working for CSUF, she was the lead assistant coach for Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.

Quan played basketball at Cal State Long Beach from 2003-05 before transferring to Concordia, where she graduated in 2007 with a degree in exercise and sport science. In 2009, she earned a master’s degree.

Nancy Hatsuishi Rogers, who played with Quan in OCO and later coached her at Concordia, said she “lived and breathed basketball.”

“She was a great basketball player. She was always happy, always fun to be around, smart, outgoing, had a huge passion for the game,” said Hatsuishi Rogers, a physical education teacher at Chino High School. “I still can’t believe this happened. It’s a tragedy. I feel so terrible for the family.”

Quan was a star athlete at Walnut High School as well. A member of the school’s Hall of Fame, she 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. In the late 90s, she toured Japan as part of a team organized by Nikkei Games.

“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 heart-wrenching,” CSUF President Mildred Garcia said in a statement Monday. “We hope that Monica’s family and friends will feel and be comforted by our support during this difficult time.”

Counselors will be available for staff and student athletes, Garcia said.

“There really aren’t 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, Monica Quan; there just aren’t words,” Coach Foster said in a press conference in Titan Gym.

“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’ve going to have some work to do, because too many women have been affected by this.”

“Our campus community is shocked and saddened by this tragic news,” said Kurt Krueger, Concordia University president.  “Our prayers go out to the families and friends of Monica and Keith and know that we mourn along with them.”

The victims were found at this address, 2100 Scholarship in Irvine. (Google Maps)

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1 Comment

  1. christine uchida fukunaga on

    Fred and I send our deepest condolences to our friends, Randy and Sylvia Quan, and to the Lawrence family. May Monica rest in peace and fly with the angels. Sincerely, tina uchida Fukunaga.

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