Memorial held for beloved USC music student shot, killed near campus

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A music-filled celebration of life was held for a beloved University of Southern California student who was gunned down near campus.

The memorial celebration for 21-year-old Victor McElhaney was held at USC Tuesday night.

Victor McElhaney's professor recalled how his former student already stood out as a gifted jazz musician during his audition in 2017.

"Something special that only comes with natural-born talent, hard work, experience and the something extra very few possess," Professor Peter Erskine said.

Victor McElhaney's family said he was pursuing his life-long love of music at the school. He had been drumming from a very early age.

"His first drum set, we had to use a code word -- night night drums -- because he would play it at midnight," shared father Clarence McElhaney. "I'm grateful... a lot of pain but I'm still grateful. It is hard to say goodbye."

He was originally from Oakland, where his mother Lynnette McElhaney is a city council member.

Friends say he mentored young people and supported local artists.

"All of the, you know, musicians really saw a lot of promise in Vic. We knew where he was going," said friend Tony B. Conscious.

Police say Victor McElhaney was shot and killed more than a week ago and more than a mile from the USC campus during what's believed to be an attempted robbery. Police continue to search for his killers.

At his memorial, members of the student organization for black men on campus called "Brothers Breaking B.R.E.A.D." wore t-shirts to honor their fellow member.

"It's a way for us to show love and support for Vic. We hope that his spirit lives on through us," said friend Kristian Emel.

Victor McElhaney's name will live on. The executive director of the Black Alumni Association announced to the crowd that a student scholarship will be awarded in his name.
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