OAKLAND (CBS SF/AP) — A suspected gang member has been charged with killing a University of Southern California music student during an off-campus robbery attempt who was the son of Oakland City Councilwoman Lynette Gibson McElhaney.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office says 23-year-old Ivan Hernandez was charged Tuesday with one count of murder during an attempted robbery and murder while being an active participant in a criminal street gang. His arraignment is pending.
Hernandez is accused of fatally shooting 21-year old Victor McElhaney in March about a mile from the USC campus.
The killing sent shock waves across the state and happened as his family was healing from another tragic loss. Just weeks before the shooting a Vallejo man was convicted of first-degree murder on Wednesday for his role in the 2015 fatal shooting in 2015 of Torian Hughes, 17, who Councilwoman Gibson considered to be her grandson.
McElhaney was a Jazz Studies student at the USC Thornton School of Music. He attended Oakland’s School for the Performing Arts, and transferred to USC in the fall of 2017 from Cal State East Bay in Hayward.
He died during spring break. According to police, the assailants approached him and a group of students at the corner of Mapel Avenue and Adams Boulevard, and shot him when he refused to give up his wallet.
If convicted, Hernandez could face either life in prison without possibility of parole or the death penalty. Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek capital punishment.
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