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Signal Hill man gets 25 years for USC shooting

October 22, 2012 |  3:45 pm

A Signal Hill man was sentenced Monday to 25 years in state prison after pleading no contest to shooting a USC student in the chest during a party in September 2011, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

As part of a plea deal, Tyson Tyree Smith, 22, did not contest a charge of attempted murder. In exchange, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg dismissed a second attempted murder charge and two counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm.

Prosecutors say the shooting occurred about 1 a.m. on Sept. 4, 2011, when Smith and three other men entered a student party being held in an off-campus apartment building. When confronted by the apartment's tenants for allegedly taking a pair of headphones, prosecutors say Smith drew a .25-caliber automatic pistol and fired one shot -- which traveled through the hand of Christina Wilkerson and into the chest of Jason Sneed, both USC students.

The students survived the shooting -- Wilkerson performed CPR on Sneed until paramedics arrived. He was hospitalized for 11 days.

The shooting occurred in the 1200 block of West 37th Place in Exposition Park, a neighborhood that sees moderate amounts of violent crime. In the last six months, there have been 198 violent crimes reported in Exposition Park, a higher rate than other nearby neighborhoods, according to the L.A. Times' Mapping L.A. database.

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-- Wesley Lowery

Follow Lowery on Twitter and Google+.

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