By: Sarah Parvini
A top USC official acknowledged problems in monitoring the marketing of the on-campus Halloween party during which four people were shot Wednesday night.
The marketing materials in question – fliers circulated by the party’s cosponsor, LA HYPE – advised attendees to “pregame” (or drink) before coming on campus because alcohol would not be offered at the event.
Vice President for Student Affairs Michael L. Jackson said steps will be taken to crack down on open campus events that any student with a college ID can attend.
“We have to get a better handle on guests who come to our campus who may not even care about who we are or what we stand for or what we are trying to do,” Jackson said. “This current practice of encouraging anybody to come to USC needs to be minimized as much as possible.”
The co-organizer of the Halloween-night party that ended in gunfire at USC spoke out for the first time Thursday, blaming campus police for allowing a restless mob to gather outside the ballroom while checking IDs at the door.
"There were so many officers downstairs making sure everyone had their IDs, there weren’t enough to make sure everything was OK," said Twan Evans of L.A. Hype, the organization listed as an event co-sponsor along with the USC Black Student Assembly.
A single gunman wounded four people — none of them affiliated with the university. Police arrested two suspects 13 minutes later half a mile west of the shooting scene. Authorities booked one suspect on an attempted murder charge.
Evans said the shooting broke out “when everyone was upset they couldn’t get in.” He said he found out around 11 p.m. that all guests must show a university ID to get in.
USC President C.L. Max Nikias told the L.A. Times that the university will announce changes to security policies early next week in light of the Halloween night on-campus shootings.
"Nothing is more important to me than the safety of our students, faculty and staff. I have already initiated an expedited process for this thorough review. I will announce changes in our policies early next week," Nikias wrote in an email.
The LAPD declined to provide the name, age and other basic details about the suspect arrested Thursday afternoon on suspicion of attempted murder.
A department spokeswoman cited an exception to the California Public Records Act, which allows a policy agency to withhold information that may “endanger the successful completion of the investigation or a related investigation.”
-Michael Juliani & Paresh Dave
By: Sarah Parvini
Seven armed public safety officers and seven more unarmed community service officers sought to corral an unruly crowd of about 150 people milling about on a chilly Halloween night, waiting to enter a party at the University of Southern California’s grand ballroom.
Before officers established order, multiple shots rang out in the air, sending dozens in every direction, away from the area near the iconic Moreton fig tree on the east side of the Ronald Tutor Campus Center, the student union building and just south of Tommy Trojan. Officers rushed in searching for the shooter and weapon.
"People were running in every direction—even the wounded," said David Carlisle, captain of USC’s Department of Public Safety. "Thirteen minutes later the suspects were arrested."
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