Autopsies may provide clues in slaying of Irvine couple

Autospy results due back Tuesday could provide more clues into the slaying of a Cal State Fullerton coach and her fiance in Irvine.

The bodies of Monica Quan, 28, an assistant women's basketball coach at the school, and Keith Lawrence, 27, who worked as a campus officer at USC, were discovered Sunday night in their car on the top floor of the parking structure at their upscale, high-security condominium complex near UC Irvine.

The two were engaged in January, a family member said, and had recently moved into the condo complex. They were each shot multiple times, and authorities said they have tentatively ruled out the possibility of the crime being a murder-suicide or motivated by robbery.

Autopsies of the bodies are expected to be completed Tuesday, said Jim Amormino of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Quan was a 2002 graduate of Walnut High School in the San Gabriel Valley, where she set school records for the most three-pointers in a season and a game. She played at Cal State Long Beach and at Concordia University, from which she graduated in 2007.

She went on to earn a master's degree before becoming the assistant coach at Cal State Fullerton. Quan's father was the first Chinese American captain in the Los Angeles Police Department, and went on to become police chief at Cal Poly Pomona.

Marcia Foster, the head basketball coach at Cal State Fullerton, described her assistant Monday as a special person: "bright, passionate and empowering." Friends said Quan shared a love of basketball with Lawrence, whom she met at Concordia.

He too had been a standout basketball player, starting at Moorpark High, where he played point guard and shooting guard, said Tim Bednar, who coached Lawrence.

Bednar said Lawrence came from a family of athletes, and was talented, yet quiet and humble.

After Lawrence graduated in 2003, he continued to participate in summer youth camps, When he returned for the camps, Bednar said, he was known as the "best basketball player that ever came through" the school.

"He was awesome with the kids," Bednar said. "They all wanted to be around Keith Lawrence."

Bednar said he heard from Lawrence when his former player needed a recommendation to become a police officer after graduating from the Ventura County Sheriff's Academy.

In August, Lawrence was hired by USC's public safety department. John Thomas, the executive director and chief of the department, said Lawrence was an "honorable, compassionate and professional" member of the community.

During a somber gathering at the Cal State Fullerton gymnasium Monday, Foster read a brief statement from Quan's brother, Ryan.

"We just shared a moment of incredible joy on her recent engagement," he wrote, and then added: "A bright light was just put out."

This story was reported by Lauren Williams and Times Staff Writers Nicole Santa Cruz and Kate Mather.

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