LOS ANGELES - A Signal Hill man was sent to state prison Monday for 25 years after pleading to shooting a USC student in the chest during a party in September 2011.Deputy District Attorney Kennes Ma said 22-year-old Tyson Tyree Smith pleaded no contest to one count of attempted murder. He also admitted using a firearm to commit the crime. Smith was sentenced immediately to the 25-year prison term by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg. As part of the negotiated disposition of the case, the judge dismissed a second attempted murder charge and two counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm. The shooting occurred about 1 a.m. on Sept. 4, 2011, in the 1200 block of West 37th Place. A group of mostly USC students were holding a party on the first floor of a two-story apartment building, authorities said. Smith and three other men, also in their early 20s, joined the party. Police said Smith took headphones belonging to the apartment's tenant and when questioned, drew a .25-caliber automatic pistol. One of the party-goers, a wfemale student, shouted for everyone to leave. Smith fired one round, hitting the woman in the hand with the bullet continuing on to hit the male student in the chest. Both students survived. The young man, the more seriously wounded of the two, was hospitalized for 11 days. Los Angeles police arrested Smith after an intensive investigation that included photos taken by people at the party. He was charged Sept. 15, 2011, and has remained in custody.
********** Published: October 25, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 28