USC community mourning slain music student from Oakland

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The murder of a beloved music student has sent emotional ripples from the University of Southern California all the way up to Northern California.

Victor McElhaney, 21, was a percussionist with USC's Thornton School of Music. He was the son of Oakland City Council member Lynette Gibson McElhaney.

McElhaney was shot and killed at a convenience store parking lot early Sunday morning about a mile from the USC campus. Friends say he lived nearby.

The campus is quiet this week amid spring break, but the Trojan community is in mourning.

"He was a very hard person not to meet," said friend Derek Garlinton. "He just brought a lot of great energy to the school. I'm honestly gonna miss him. He was a really good guy."

McElhaney was from Oakland.

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USC student Victor McElhaney was shot and killed at a convenience store parking lot about a mile from campus.

In a written statement, his mother said:

"Victor was 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.

I miss my baby. Please keep me, my family, and all of my son's friends in your thoughts and prayers."

The LAPD is investigating the fatal shooting. They have released little information, only saying they're still looking for the four men involved.

A candlelight vigil was held Monday in South Los Angeles to remember McElhaney. The vigil was held at Maple and Adams, one mile from USC's campus, and the place where McElhaney was killed.

"It's really sad to hear about everything that's happened," said USC student Scott Yarmoff. "Through one person to another, I think we all kind of know everybody. We are just one Trojan family."

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf spoke with sister station KGO about the loss of a member of their community.

"This is just an unspeakable tragedy." Schaff said. "This young man, who is the son of not just an Oakland city councilwoman, but someone who is a champion for violence prevention."

USC students who live off campus said they feel safe, but an incident like this one hits close to home.

Councilwoman McElhaney will be on the USC campus Tuesday with the Los Angeles Police Department and USC officials to hold a briefing.
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