USC Black student shot during botched robbery was gun control advocate


USC student Victor McElhaney was a gun control advocate who wanted to heal the world through his music. Now, his family is heartbroken following his sudden and violent death, the Los Angeles Times reported.

McElhaney’s godsister, Alinzia Davenport, recalls how “I just knew one day he was going to be a famous old man and we’d be going to his concerts.” Instead, the family is planning a funeral for the 21-year-old after he was gunned down by a group of men in a botched robbery, the Times wrote.

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McElhaney, the son of Oakland Councilwoman Lynette Gibson McElhaney, was well-known in the city as a mentor to young performers as well as an advocate for black lives and gun control. The irony in the way he died makes that tragedy that much more distressing.

In the early morning hours of Sunday, McElhaney and eight friends were the victims of an attempted robbery after they left a strip-mall liquor near USC, said Los Angeles Police Capt. Billy Hayes, who oversees the Robbery Homicide Division.

McElhaney was shot after resisting the robbers; three to four Hispanic men in their 20s, two of whom were armed, Hayes said. The suspects fled in a dark blue or gray sedan.

McElhaney was taken to the hospital in critical condition and pronounced dead Sunday morning. No one else was hurt during the incident and no arrests had been made in connection with the shooting.

“I know that if this wasn’t him and it was someone else, he would have his arms around each and every one of his family members, letting them know that it would be OK,” Davenport said of the shooting. “He would want his community to rally together against gun violence.”

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In a statement Sunday night, Councilwoman McElhaney said her son’s death represents the “beginning of a new chapter in this reoccurring circle of violence.”

“I miss my baby,” she wrote. “Please keep me, my family, and all of my son’s friends in your thoughts and prayers.”

Victor McElhaney’s father, Clarence McElhaney, has urged the public to come forward with information about his son’s slaying.

“Silence is worse than the actual bullet that killed my son,” he said. “If you know something, say something to the police.”

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