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Authorities question suspects after four people were shot – including one in critical condition – during a Halloween party at the University of Southern California.
UPDATE 12:46 p.m.: USC President Max Nikias said in a statement published online today that university safety officials are reviewing campus policies regarding visitors, after a shooting on campus last night involving non-USC students sent four people to the hospital.
Around 11:30 p.m. last night, two men got into an argument outside the Ronald Tutor Campus Center where a university sponsored Halloween party was underway. One man pulled out a gun and shot the other injuring three bystanders in the process. The L.A. Times reports the victim was Geno Hall, a former Crenshaw High School football athlete. Police say neither the victims nor the two suspects who have been detained were USC students, staff or faculty. But the shooting did prompt USC President Nikias to respond.
“While the risk of such an episode on campus is very low, it reminds all of us that we must look out for ourselves and be particularly vigilant about the personal safety of friends and guests at our social events,” he said in a statement.
The party on campus was for USC students only. People trying to enter the party were turned away for not showing valid USC student ID. President Nikias said the university officials “are now carefully assessing and reviewing all of the university’s policies regarding visitors and events held on campus.”
USC has struggled with the issue of campus public safety. Many perceive the campus to be in a rough and high crime neighborhood.
The university contributed $600,000 in April to reassign 30 LAPD officers to the Southwest Division and add another four officers on campus to work with the USC Department of Public Safety. That announcement was made weeks after two USC Chinese graduate students were gunned down in an off-campus neighborhood a few blocks away from the university.
UPDATE 8:55 a.m.: Three of the four people wounded in the USC shooting have been released from the hospital, Los Angeles police said Thursday morning.
LAPD Officer Sarah Faden said one victim remains hospitalized in critical condition. None of those involved are USC students.
She also said a weapon was recovered near the shooting, but investigators will have to test it to determine if it was the one used in the attack.
The shooting is having no effect on classes.
PREVIOUSLY: Police on Thursday morning continue investigating two separate shootings that injured seven people during Halloween celebrations in Hollywood and on the campus of the University of Southern California.
Two men are detained in connection with the USC shootings, while the shooter at the Hollywood celebration fled, possibly in a white SUV, Los Angeles police said.
USC police Capt. David Carlisle said the shooting occurred during an argument between two men outside of a party at the the Ronald Tudor Campus Center about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday. One male pulled a gun and opened fire.
One man was shot several times and critically wounded. Three bystanders were also wounded and are expected to survive. None were USC students.
“There was an on-campus Halloween party in a campus ballroom. The only people allowed to enter the party where university students with ID or college students from other campuses with ID," Carlisle said. "But we believe this party was advertised on various social media sites so a number of people not affiliated with a college or the university came to the party and were turned away.”
The 100 people in the students-only party were kept inside and a campus-wide shelter-in-place email alert was sent.
The suspects were arrested about 10 minutes after the shooting and the alert was called off, the captain said.
“We kept everyone inside the ballroom until we could restore order and check for witnesses. They were later allowed to leave," Carlisle said. "The campus was temporarily shut down while officers made sure it was safe for people to re-enter the campus and for people attending that event to go on their way.”
Across town in Hollywood, police report three people were shot about 10 p.m. in a large throng of Halloween revelers near the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Whitley Avenue.
A 17-year-old boy was critically wounded with gunshot wounds to the chest and a leg, while two others were also hit and are expected to survive, Los Angeles police said.
The disturbance sent a flood of police into the area to control the crowd, most of which were in costume for Halloween.
Police reported no serious issues at the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval, another large celebration in the area.