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Dad of slain USC student asks suspects to turn themselves in

The father of a USC music student killed in what police say was a botched robbery about a mile and a half from campus pleaded Tuesday for anyone with information about the crime to come forward.
Flanked by grieving family members while speaking at the campus’ Town and Gown ballroom, the dad of 21-year-old drummer Victor McElhaney challenged the three or four suspects in the shooting early Sunday to turn themselves in.
“Be a man,” said Clarence McElhaney through tears. “Respect life. Step forward and take responsibility for your actions.”
Los Angeles police detectives said the robbery occurred at around midnight on Sunday when men in a dark-blue or gray sedan pulled into the parking lot of a market at 4th and Allen streets where Victor McElhaney was standing in a group of eight people.
While three men were stepping out of the vehicle, a fourth man approached McElhaney and his friends. The other men then stepped forward and demanded valuables from the group.
Capt. Billy Hayes, who commands LAPD’s homicide detectives, said two of the suspects were armed. The suspects began to go through the pockets of the group, when one for some reason fired at McElhaney.
Immediately, all of the suspects got back into the car and fled.
Hayes said detectives can see the vehicle on grainy, low-quality security-camera footage. Investigators were checking nearby businesses for more footage.
Lynette Gibson McElhaney, Victor’s mother and an Oakland city councilwoman, wept as she entered the ballroom, embracing several people before walking up to the podium.
She said her son started drumming before he could walk and talk and that he was inquisitive and always eager for new experiences.
Gibson McElhaney remembered her son, then age 3, stopping his teacher as they played on plastic drums together:
“He told her, ‘First, you feel it, then you play it.’ “
Victor McElhaney attended music and arts schools while growing up in Oakland. He recently transferred to USC from Cal State East Bay.
This is the second tragedy to befall the McElhaney family in recent years. In 2015, a 17-year-old boy who she helped bring up was shot to death during a robbery attempt in West Oakland.
On Tuesday, the councilwoman said Victor was her “sunshine.”
“Every day I prayed: ‘Please, please don’t take my sunshine away,’ ” she said.

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