USC Greek Row stabbing: 19-year-student arrested in homeless man's death

A 19-year-old University of Southern California student was arrested after he allegedly stabbed a homeless man to death, authorities said. The student reportedly witnessed the homeless man attempting to break into multiple vehicles on Greek Row before confronting him. 

The USC student was identified as Ivan Gallegos, Los Angeles County jail records showed.

Officials with the Los Angeles Police Department said just after 8 p.m. Monday, they received a call regarding a man breaking into cars when three USC students decided to confront him. 

During the confrontation, authorities said Gallegos, along with his two friends, got into an argument with the homeless man. That’s when investigators said Gallegos turned from a witness into a suspect when he allegedly stabbed him.

Investigators said the stabbing victim ended up in the walkway between two fraternity houses in the 700 block of W. 28th Street in Los Angeles' University Park neighborhood where he collapsed. The crime scene is located near a small homeless encampment in the area. 

The homeless man was declared dead at the scene.

As for Gallegos and his friends, they stayed on the scene where Gallegos was arrested on suspicion of murder. 

USC officials said the 19-year-old student is a junior in the Business Administration program. He has no criminal record. His bail has been set at $2 million.

Detectives said multiple surveillance cameras are located along Greek Row and will continue to canvass the footage. 

Neighbors say they've noticed a recent rise in car break-ins. 

Those with information are asked to contact the LAPD. 

Community Reactions

FOX 11 spoke to a housekeeper at USC's Delta Tau Delta house who wanted to remain anonymous, They said Gallegos is a member of the fraternity and lives at the house and that the violent incident is hitting the fraternity members hard.

"They’re very sad," said the housekeeper.  "They’re very concerned, very worried."

A USC student seemed conflicted and said the entire situation was "messed up."

"Breaking into cars is pretty [messed] up," said USC student Dylan Dolson-Gonzalez. "Stabbing somebody to death is also pretty [messed] up.  If it’s a level of self-defense, that’s understandable, the way that it was framed though seemed kind of concerning to me.

Those who live near Greek Row added they’ve had issues with car break-ins recently.

"My roommate’s car got broken into recently," said Alina Ritz.  "I don’t know if it’s the same person breaking into cars, but that’s an insane outcome [of getting] stabbed to death."

A spokesperson from the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said the case is under review.  According to police, the student claimed the homeless man told him he had a gun.

"We have to be concerned about his family too, both of their families," said the housekeeper.

FOX 11's Matthew Seedorff contributed to this report.