My husband and I want to express our gratitude to the public for their cooperation and to the LAPD for their diligent work to bring those responsible for Victor’s death to justice.
But this gratitude brings little comfort. The young man arrested also represents a loss of life and human potential.
Alleged gang member Ivan Hernandez, 23, did not enter a plea in court on Tuesday and could face the death penalty.
Victor’s death calls our State to examine the foundations of our society: our investments in youth, the lack of opportunities for poor and low-income families and communities, and our protection of the gun lobby at the expense of our children.
Thousands of families experience the life-transforming pain of having babies stolen away by gunmen in our schools, theaters, entertainment venues and even at corner stores.
This must end.
Every day, dozens of Black people are murdered in the United States. Most are young men who are killed by other young men who have been neglected, miseducated, impoverished and desperate. This is the terrorism that we live with daily and our collective failure to address this is an international disgrace.
This arrest is just the first step in a long legal process. I am heartbroken, yet unwavering in my resolve to eradicate gun-related violence in our communities. As we continue to hold faith in our legal system for a just outcome, I urge everyone to join us in the LoveLife movement to prevent gun violence from ripping apart our communities and stealing our most valued national treasure – our children.
Our son, Victor McElhaney, a senior at USC Thornton School of Music, was killed one month before his 22nd birthday while heading out to an art event. His death has touched thousands of lives and inspired new creations of art and music. USC has named a scholarship in his name and friends have established the Victor McElhaney Foundation to support other aspiring inner-city musicians.