A search is continuing for three or four men in their 20s suspected of shooting to death a USC student who was the son of an Oakland City Council member in an apparent robbery attempt near the campus.
The shooting occurred just after midnight Sunday near the corner of Maple Avenue and Adams Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The suspects approached the victim and attempted to rob him, leading to the shooting, authorities said.
The victim was identified as Victor McElhaney, a 21-year-old student at USC’s Thornton School of Music and son of Oakland City Councilwoman Lynette Gibson McElhaney.
“It is with the utmost sadness that I share with you the tragic news that my son, Victor McElhaney, was slain last night in a senseless act of violence,” the councilwoman said after the slaying.
“I miss my baby. Please keep me, my family and all of my son’s friends in your thoughts and prayers. 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.”
McElhaney was due to join police and USC officials for at the university Tuesday morning for a media briefing regarding the her son’s death and the investigation into who was responsible.
McElhaney described her son as “a son of Oakland. He was a musician who drew his inspiration from the beat, soul and sound of the town and he belonged in every nook and cranny of Oakland.”
Interim USC President Wanda Austin sent out a statement informing the USC community of McElhaney’s death. In it she expressed her condolences to his family and friends.
“He believed in the power of music to touch lives to heal and to bring hope,” Austin said.
McElhaney — who transferred to USC in 2017 — was part of the USC Jazz studies program with an interest in the relationship between music and social and political movements. He also mentored young musicians and taught at the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music.
Anyone with information on the homicide was asked to call LAPD’s Southwest Division at (213) 485-2582. Tips also can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.