Man allegedly killed by USC student on Greek row identified as investigation continues

Los Angeles, CA - June 18: A 19-year-old USC student was in custody today for allegedly fatally stabbing a man he apparently witnessed breaking into cars near Delta Tau Delta on the university's Greek Row Tuesday, June 18, 2024 in Los Angeles, CA. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
A 19-year-old USC student was arrested for allegedly fatally stabbing a man near the Delta Tau Delta fraternity house on Tuesday. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Authorities have identified the man who police say was killed by a USC student in an altercation this week on Greek row.

The victim, described by police as homeless, was 27-year-old Xavier Cerf, according to the Los Angeles County medical examiner.

Ivan Gallegos, 19, is being held on bail of $2 million after Los Angeles police say he and two others confronted Cerf as he was breaking into a car, and Gallegos pulled out a knife and fatally stabbed him.

The confrontation occurred Monday just after 8 p.m. in the 700 block of West 28th Street, police said. Gallegos remained at the scene after the stabbing, cooperated with investigators and was later booked, according to police. The two other men who were with him were questioned and released.

Read more: New details emerge after USC student arrested in fatal stabbing of homeless man

Police said they found Cerf in a nearby alley suffering from stab wounds and when paramedics arrived he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hours after homicide investigators cleared the crime scene Tuesday, a trail of dried blood led to an alleyway behind a row of USC fraternity buildings. The trail started near the Delta Tau Delta house and passed broken beer bottles, discarded Zyn nicotine containers and painted wood from themed fraternity parties.

Gallegos told officers the man breaking into the car claimed he was armed with a gun, according to interim LAPD Chief Dominic Choi. But a law enforcement source told The Times no gun was recovered at the scene. The district attorney has not brought charges against Gallegos, who was arrested on suspicion of murder.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.