Two USC students were shot early Sunday morning outside of a party at an apartment complex at 1241 West 37th Place.
A male undergraduate student was shot in the chest and a female graduate student was shot in the hand and suffered a bloody finger, Sgt. Mark Green of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Southwest division told City News Service.
The shooting occurred when a resident of the apartment complex accused the suspect of having stolen a pair of expensive headphones from him. The victims attempted to help settle the altercation between the resident and the suspect, according to Gueston Cordae Smith, a sophomore majoring in architecture who attended the party.
“We were dancing and having a good time, and all of a sudden the victim turned on the lights and was acting really angry,” Gueston Cordae Smith said. “[The resident] said that his headphones were stolen … and then walked up to the shooter.”
In response to the accusation, the suspect pulled out a handgun and fired multiple rounds at the victims, according to Sgt. Will Smith of LAPD’s Southwest division.
“An argument came up and, not even a minute later, the [shooter] pulled out a gun,” Gueston Cordae Smith said. “I saw that gun in his hand, so I grabbed two of the girls who were with me and just ran out. As soon as I was running down the hall, I heard a gunshot.”
The suspect is a black male between the ages of 18 and 25, Sgt. Smith said. He was shirtless and wearing blue jeans when he fled the scene, according to CNS.
Both victims were immediately taken to California Hospital Medical Center, where the undergraduate student was listed in critical but stable condition, Sgt. Smith said. The male victim remains in the intensive care unit at California Hospital Medical Center after having undergone surgery earlier Sunday, Capt. Melissa Zak of LAPD’s Southwest division said at a press conference.
The graduate student is in “OK” condition, according to the Dept. of Public Safety. She is scheduled to go under surgery Sunday night, Zak said.
Police interviewed witnesses at the party and have begun searching for the suspect. Police performed a comprehensive search of the premises Sunday afternoon.
An investigation into the shooting includes members of LAPD, DPS, the FBI and members of the South Bureau’s Criminal Gang/Homicide Division, according to Sgt. Smith.
Although the handgun has not yet been found, LAPD is currently following several solid leads, Zak said.
Sgt. Smith labeled the incident as isolated and said it poses no threat to the USC community.
Rachel Bracker contributed to this report.