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Suspect pleads not guilty in USC Halloween shooting

A screenshot from USC's TommyCam shows police sealing off the area where at least 4 people were shot Wednesday night.
A screenshot from USC's TommyCam shows police sealing off the area where at least 4 people were shot Wednesday night. USC's TommyCam

A man charged with attempted murder for allegedly opening fire outside a Halloween party at the University of Southern California entered a not guilty plea Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Brandon Spencer, 20, of Inglewood pleaded not guilty to four counts of attempted murder. His bail was set at $2.04 million. Spencer’s next court hearing is scheduled for Dec. 6.

Four people - including a well-known former Crenshaw High School football player - were hurt in the Oct. 31 shooting. Los Angeles police say the shooter and one of the victims got into an argument outside a Halloween party on the USC campus. Prosecutors allege that Spencer committed the shooting to further the activities of a criminal street gang.

Authorities say the crowd outside the Halloween party was mostly people turned away for not having USC student IDs. Neither the shooter nor the victims were USC students and no faculty or staff were involved. Still, the shooting resurfaced concerns about safety on and around the university campus.

In response to the shooting the Black Student Assembly, the organization that hosted the Halloween party at USC, wrote to the university student newspaper, the Daily Trojan, that it would suspend all parities and social events it's scheduled for the rest of this semester.

USC President Max Nikias responded last week, saying that university and public safety officials would review the school’s policies on outside visitors to events held on campus.

Neon Tommy, another student news organization, reports that next week university officials will  announce policy changes to open campus events at USC.

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