The son of Oakland City Councilwoman Lynette Gibson-McElhaney was shot and killed early Sunday morning during a robbery attempt in Los Angeles off campus where he was studying jazz, police said.
Victor McElhaney, 21, a music student at the University of Southern California, was shot at a liquor store, about a mile and a half from the school's main campus. He was rushed to a local hospital, where he died around 11 a.m. Sunday.
USC released a statement, confirming Victor McElhaney's killing. Robert Cutietta, the dean of the USC Thornton School of Music, said that the young man, "believed in the power of music to touch lives, to heal, and to bring hope. He enjoyed mentoring young musicians and had a long-standing commitment to community service."
Victor McElheaney had transferred to USC in 2017.
"His father called me first thing this morning… woke me up out of my sleep and I knew something wasn't right," said Angela Wellman, founding director of the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music. Victor McElHaney worked at the conservatory before heading to Southern California to attend college and further his studies in music.
Police have not made any arrests. Multiple suspects were seen leaving the area in a vehicle after the shooting.
Lynette McElhaney previously lost her 17-year-old grandson in a 2015 West Oakland shooting. Late on Sunday, she released a statement:
Councilwoman McElhaney, who lost a 17-year-old teenager who she considered a grandson to gun violence in 2015, released a statement about her son's death.
"It is with the utmost sadness that I share with you the tragic news that my son, Victor McElhaney, was slain last night in a senseless act of violence. Victor was a 21 year-old senior at USC Thornton School of Music, where he was pursuing his lifelong love of music with some of the greats. 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.
We are beginning a new chapter in this reoccurring circle of violence...And it will take all of us together to make it through this tragedy."
Other friends also mourned the tragic loss.
"I heard the news pretty early when I was getting ready for church and was just extremely devastated and just kind of in shock and disbelief that such a bright soul was taken from us," said Kev Choice, who said he was mentee to a Victor McElHaney .
Will Lyle, a friend in Southern California, told KTVU via Facebook vido that they became close through music. The two were actually scheduled to perform together, but were never able to make that happen.
"What I really liked about him is he was always a genuine person,"Lyle said, "even though he had these skills and these talents… he was always very genuine. "