LOS ANGELES - Authorities said a man who worked as a security guard at an upscale off-campus apartment complex in South Los Angeles for students at the University of Southern California was shot and killed overnight.
Investigators with the Los Angeles Police Department said the shooting occurred around 12:45 a.m. Wednesday at the Lorenzo apartments located near the intersection of 23rd and Flower streets, which is about a half mile from the USC campus.
LAPD officials said the security guard was shot after attempting to escort a trespasser off the property. He was declared dead at the scene.
"The individual was just trying to work, just trying to do his job, and was just trying to keep this building safe when this incident occurred," said LAPD Lt. Ryan Rabbett.
The security officer was employed by Secure Net Alliance and was unarmed at the time of the shooting, which they said was an "unprovoked attack."
"The tragic loss of one of our finest officers last night in Los Angeles highlights the vital but often under recognized role of private security professionals who help keep our clients, neighborhoods, and property safe," the company said in a released statement Wednesday.
Homicide detectives were alerted to a possible suspect sleeping in a parking area near the lobby of the building. Officers detained the suspect, who was armed with a handgun. The suspect was identified as 31-year-old Alexander Crawford.
A witness said the suspect shot the guard from the Metro platform, directly across the street. The Expo Line shut down service while detectives searched along the tracks.
"The area has gotten worse. Especially after COVID, the homeless kind of move in this direction and just a lot of bad activity so a lot of times I try not to even walk I’ll get an Uber to go just down the street because it’s so dark," said neighbor Xoe Hightower.
The security officer’s name has not been released by authorities. His employer said he is survived by his 13-year-old daughter. Those who wish to help with burial expenses or to help the victim's daughter is asked to call 818-848-4900.
Anyone with information is asked to contact LAPD Central Bureau Homicide at (213) 486-8700. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or by visiting lacrimestoppers.org.
FOX 11's Hailey Winslow contributed to this report.