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4 shot at USC Halloween party; campus on lockdown

November 1, 2012 |  1:35 am

PHOTOS: Shooting at USC Halloween party

Four people were shot during a Halloween party on the USC campus late Wednesday, including one  who was critically injured.

Law enforcement sources told The Times that the gunman opened fire on one person outside the party but also hit three bystanders. The targeted person is in critical condition, and the three others have non-life-threatening wounds. Police believe the gunman was not a USC student and that the shooting was tied to a dispute not related to the university.

USC announced a suspect is in custody.

PHOTOS: Shooting at USC Halloween party

The university is urging people on campus to stay indoors and not open their doors. It issued an alert to students and staff that read: "Police-related incident in progress at Tutor Campus Center on USC Campus. The scene is secure and there is an ongoing investigation. Campus shut down, stay away from area at this time."

Witnesses said the shooting occurred during an overcrowded party at the center of the campus.

A USC student, who asked not to be named, said a student group was hosting the party and that it was at maximum capacity. The witness said there were about 100 people outside -- as well as some campus police -- when at least four shots rang out.

"Everyone started running. I saw a guy who was shot in the leg. He was limping and screaming for his friends to help him. 'I got shot. Can someone give me a ride?' His friends were helping him walk," the witness said. "People were screaming and running away."

USC student Ashley Riegle, 27, said the gunfire seemed to occur "out of nowhere."
"Everyone ran. Everyone ran like hell," she said. "We just ducked down."
Student Astrid Solorzano, 23, said she saw one of the victims lying on the ground after the shooting. She said he was alive but having trouble breathing.

In April, two graduate students were fatally shot in what authorities said was a botched robbery a few miles from campus.

The deaths stunned the university, which announced a string of new security measures.

Two men were arrested in May and charged with those killings.

In 2008, USC sprinter and now Olympic medalist Bryshon Nellum was shot in the leg three times at a Halloween party. Nellum, then a sophomore at USC, accompanied a track recruit to the party, which was just off campus.


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--Andrew Blankstein, Jack Leonard and Kate Mather

Photo: Scene on USC campus. Credit: Kate Mather / L.A. Times