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City Officials, Friends Stunned By Murder Of Oakland Councilmember's Son

OAKLAND (CBS SF) - The shocking weekend murder of the son of an Oakland city councilwoman reverberated throughout City Hall Monday.

The City Council announced its meeting scheduled for Tuesday night has been canceled following the murder of Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney's son Victor McElhaney.

The University of Southern California student was shot and killed about a mile from the USC campus.

LAPD detectives said the 21-year-old jazz student in USC's prestigious Thornton School of Music was shot during an apparent robbery attempt in a strip mall just after midnight on Sunday.

According to police, three or four young men approached him, shot him, then jumped in a vehicle and drove away. It's not clear if anything was taken.

McElhaney was rushed to a nearby hospital and died at 11 a.m., Sunday morning.

On Monday, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf spoke about his mother's own fight against gun violence.

"This young man who is the son of not just an Oakland City Councilwoman, but someone who is a champion for violence prevention," she said. "His parents were always talking about how proud they are of him. The whole city is grieving and in deep prayer for this family."

USC student Aviana Spruill said McElhaney was more than a gifted drummer.

"I see him around the campus all the time so it still feels kind of unreal," said Spruill. "Everyone that knew him knew he was always fighting for the causes that he believed in so it's really jarring for it to happen."

Lynette Gibson McEhaney was elected to the Oakland City Council in 2012. She represents District 3 – which covers Jack London Square, the city's port, Lake Merritt and West Oakland and Downtown/Uptown.

Her press deputy said she was in Los Angeles Monday.

Councilwoman McElhany lost a close family friend she considered a grandson to gun violence a few years ago. The 17-year-old boy was shot during a robbery in West Oakland on Christmas Eve in 2015. Over the past weeks, McElhany has been attending the trial of the man charged with the his murder.

Now she and her husband have lost their only son.

Victor attended Oakland's School for the Performing Arts and Cal State East Bay before transferring to USC in 2017, where he was a senior. His friends and teachers were devastated by the news.

"Everyone who knew him knew that he was amazing," said one friend.

"I am deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence and my prayers go out to my colleague, Councilmember McElhaney, during what I can only imagine is the most trying time in her life," Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan said Monday, in a statement.

"Victor was a bright star and we were all following his success in school and in life. This is an unspeakable tragedy -- one I hope will renew our commitment to justice," Kaplan said.

Gibson McElhaney said in a statement that arrangements for her son's funeral in Oakland will be made as soon as his body is returned to Oakland.

Meanwhile, police were trying to locate surveillance footage of the robbery. No suspects have been identified.


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