Suspect in Sept. 4 shooting arrested

A suspect was arrested in the shooting of two USC students at an off-campus party, the Los Angeles Police Department announced Thursday.

Tyson Tiree Smith, 21, was arrested Wednesday night in the City of Signal Hill near Long Beach, Calif., LAPD Southwest Division Capt. Melissa Zak said.

Two USC students, a male undergraduate student and a female graduate student, were shot early on the morning of Sept. 4 on the 1200 block of West 37th Place after a confrontation occurred between the shooter and the victims.

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office filed two counts of attempted murder and two counts of assault with a firearm against Smith, the district attorney’s office said.

LAPD and the Dept. of Public Safety used photographic and video evidence from the crime scene to identify the suspect and track him down, Zak said.

“A combination of several different sources of video were used in the investigation,” DPS Assistant Chief John Thomas said. “It was a combination of technology, interviews and the whole gambit to piece together what resulted in an arrest.”

Thomas said that security cameras installed as part of a DPS security expansion west of Vermont Avenue contributed to the arrest of Smith.

“The [newly-installed] cameras played a part in [the arrest] but so did everything else,” Thomas said.

One shot was fired at the victims after a confrontation over a pair of Beats by Dr. Dre headphones escalated. The bullet hit the female student’s finger and then hit the male in the chest. The female victim performed CPR on the male victim, likely saving his life, Zak said.

“The female victim performed CPR until paramedics arrived,” Zak said. “The male victim later remembered someone breathing for him as he slipped in and out consciousness.”

Both victims were transported to California Hospital Medical Center. The female victim underwent surgery on her hand and the male victim underwent surgery on his chest. The female victim’s finger also likely saved the male victim’s life by slowing down the speed of the bullet, Zak said.

LAPD described the female victim’s actions in saving the male victim’s life as “heroic” in a press statement.

The male victim was released from the hospital Thursday and the female victim was released from the hospital early last week, Zak said.

Throughout the investigation DPS worked closely with LAPD to identify the suspect, search for evidence and interview witnesses.

“Since the incident occurred, our detectives have worked along with LAPD to assist them in this case,” Thomas said. “While LAPD is the primary investigative agency, our detectives collaborated with them and have spent every day since working on the case.”

An arraignment date has not been set, but the DA has requested bail at $1 million.

Zak said students should not host open parties.

“When someone uninvited goes to a party there can be violent, unintended consequences,” Zak said. “It is better to have closed parties where only invited guests are allowed to attend.”


Rachel Bracker contributed to this report. 

1 reply

    It so funny to me that when DPS does something “bad” in students eyes, they have 20 comments regarding the matter, but when they actually do something good as in catching a criminal THERE ARE NO COMMENTS.

    As much as people complain about their safety it seems that most of the person crimes that occur is due to the students lack of personal responsibility. Walking alone at 2am from class, leaving their computer unattended in a computer lab while you leave for 2 hours and hopes that it will still be their when you get back, getting so drunk that you leave your friends and try and find your way home. (even though there is a tram that takes you home from 6pm-3am and cruiser that runs until 6am). Walking with your cell phone in your hands not paying attention to your surroundings. Letting people in to your party that you don’t know, getting so drunk that your passed out in someones yard. Take some responsibility for your own actions, for your own safety.

    DPS is their to ensure that we have a safe and fun 4 years of college here at USC! Their the first people that we blame when something is not going our way or we are not satisfied with a situation that we usually put ourselves into, but the first people we call for help. How about showing them a little more respect for the jobs that their doing. I want to thank them for the jobs that they are doing. And I think that you reading this should too.

Comments are closed.