November 08, 2012
Sentinel Contributing Writer
Four individuals were injured, one seriously, in a short barrage of gunfire Halloween night on the University of Southern California campus, in Central Los Angeles. Brandon Spencer, a 20-year old college student and part-time licensed security officer is being held for the shooting and is facing four counts of attempted murder charges.While details of the shooting have not been revealed, it has been reported that the shooting occurred during a confrontation between Spencer and a former Crenshaw High School football player, Geno Hall, who sustained serious injuries with three bullet wounds. The other three unidentified victims reportedly received only minor injuries.
“Brandon was with his girl friend and two of her female friends and they were out for a night of Halloween celebration activities,” said James Spencer, father of the accused.
“I have not learned any details of the shooting as I am sure the investigators are trying to determine what actually happened, why it happened, and who else may have been involved. My family and I pray for a full recovery of all of the victims of this incident, just as we hope that the community will not rush to judgment about Brandon’s guilt until the investigation has been completed and all of the facts have been revealed. Brandon had a plan for his life and his future that included college, productive employment and a family of his own.”
Little has been revealed about Hall, the primary victim of the shooting except a report in a local newspaper indicating that in 2009, a panel of sportswriters named Hall the City Section (football) player of the year and the Los Angeles Times described him as "the most versatile and feared player for Crenshaw High's 14-1 team."
The college campus party was well attended with hundreds of students and hundreds of others who were outside the venue, waiting or attempting to enter. Described as “The Biggest Halloween Costume Party,” hosted by the Black Student Assembly at USC, it was unclear if the young people who were not students at the university were invited and encouraged to attend or if they merely saw the flyer and thought it would be a fun way to spend Halloween night.
Assistant University Police Chief John Thomas, of the USC Department of Public safety announced a day after the shooting that “there is no pending danger” to the university, indicating that the event was “totally an isolated incident.”
Spencer was arraigned earlier this week in downtown Los Angeles Criminal Court, Department 30 in case BA404363. Bail was set for the defendant in the amount of $2.04 million. A preliminary hearing will be conducted after further investigation has been completed.
According to the district attorney’s office, Deputy D.A. Antonella Nistorescu of the Hardcore Gang Division has been assigned to prosecute the case. If convicted, Spencer will be facing up to life in prison.