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Los Angeles police were investigating the fatal shooting of an Oakland City Councilwoman’s son who was killed on Sunday in a botched attempted robbery near the University of Southern California (USC) campus. Victor McElhaney, 21, was a senior who was studying music at the university.

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City Councilwoman Lynette McElhaney and her husband, Clarence McElhaney, appeared Tuesday at the campus to plead for help in finding their son’s killers, KTLA-TV reported.

“Silence is worse than the actual bullet that killed my son,” Clarence McElhaney said. “Even the people involved. Be a man, step forward and take responsibility for your actions.”

McElhaney was with his friends at a strip mall parking lot at around 12:30 a.m. Sunday when at least three Hispanic men in their 20s confronted them, the police said. In the process of trying to rob McElhaney and his friends, one of the suspects shot McElhaney. They then fled in a dark blue or gray sedan. There were witnesses at the scene, and investigators have surveillance video of the shooting. McElhaney was transported to a hospital, where he died of his injuries later that day.

Investigators said two of the suspects are about 5 feet 10 inches tall and were armed with weapons. The third suspect was described as about 5 feet 6 inches tall. They all appeared to have a medium built, but none had any other distinguishing characteristics.

The councilwoman recalled that her son was a gun control advocate who supported her efforts to develop Oakland’s Department of Violence Prevention. At USC, he was a drummer pursuing his passion for music. The Jazz Studies major was was also a mentor to young musicians in Oakland.

“Victor’s not a homicide number or a statistic or just another Black boy gunned down in South Central Los Angeles,” she said Tuesday at USC. “Victor came here because he wanted to be in the pantheon of all these great jazz traditions that have been held and thrust at USC.”

Councilwoman McElhaney is serving a second term as a representative of Oakland’s district three, which includes West Oakland, Downtown/Uptown, Jack London, Pill Hill/KONO, the Lake, and the Port of Oakland. She has been a leader for two decades in the struggle for affordable housing in the gentrifying city.


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