USC student dies in LA shooting

LAPD said Victor McElhaney was approached by three to four suspects when one of them shot him.

Victor McElhaney, a Thornton School student, died at 11 a.m. Sunday after being shot on the corner of Maple Avenue and Adams Boulevard, about 1.5 miles from USC's main campus, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Officer Mike Lopez told Annenberg Media that three to four male suspects approached McElhaney and one shot him. The group then fled in a vehicle.

According to Lopez, LAPD received the call at 12:24 a.m. When the fire department arrived at the scene, McElhaney was in critical condition and transported to a local hospital. He died there at 11 a.m.

Lopez said it was a possible robbery and LAPD cannot confirm if anything was stolen. No suspects have been taken into custody.

USC Interim President Wanda Austin said in a letter to students and faculty, "We appreciate the ongoing and diligent efforts of the Los Angeles Police Department to quickly identify and arrest those responsible for this senseless crime."

She wrote that the school has been in touch with McElhaney's family. USC is currently on Spring Break.

According to Austin, McElhaney is from Oakland, where he was an instructor at Oakland Public Conservatory of Music. In the fall of 2017, he transferred from California State University East Bay to USC to pursue jazz studies. He was an active member of USC's Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs.

"He believed in the power of music to touch lives, to heal, and to bring hope," she said. "Victor's loss will affect all of the faculty and students who knew him."

A memorial for McElhaney is being planned, and Austin will notify the student body as information becomes available.

"I miss my baby. Please keep me, my family, and all of my son's friends in your thoughts and prayers," the student's mother, Oakland City Councilwoman Lynette Gibson McElhaney wrote in an online statement. "We are beginning a new chapter in this reoccurring circle of violence… And it will take all of us together to make it through this tragedy."

Students can call the Crisis Counselors at USC Student Health at 213-740-9355 to receive grief counseling.

Update 10:07 p.m. on March 10: The story was updated with a statement from Victor McElhaney's mother.