USC Student Kills Alleged Car Thief: Family Outraged at Prosecutor’s Decision

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Written By Angela Angela






A man was stabbed and killed by a USC student after the man allegedly broke into a car near the student’s home. The man’s family spoke out after prosecutors decided not to file criminal charges.

Xavier Cerf, 28, was on a street near the USC campus when he allegedly broke into a car. Surveillance video shows him entering a car. When the car’s alarm went off, 19-year-old Ivan Gallegos came out of a nearby frat house with two others.

Gallegos told investigators he brought a knife because the area is dangerous. He confronted Cerf, and they struggled after Cerf allegedly said he had a gun. Gallegos stabbed Cerf four times, saying it was in self-defense.

Prosecutors decided not to file charges, believing Gallegos feared for his life. Cerf’s family disagreed, saying it’s not self-defense when the other person is unarmed.

Cerf’s uncle said they should have called the police instead of taking justice into their own hands. Cerf came to Los Angeles to work on a social media career and was not homeless, as previously described by police.

Gallegos had support from family, friends, and fellow students. Many believed he should be freed. Prosecutors said the evidence indicated Gallegos acted in self-defense, believing Cerf had a gun.

Cerf’s mother said her son wasn’t violent and loved to dance. He struggled with mental health after family members’ deaths and had hoped to move back to Houston.

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