Published February 19, 2013
Authorities say a shooting spree through Orange County, Calif., has left four people dead, including the shooter, and two others injured before the man stopped and shot himself to death in a stolen car, police said.
The shootings began early Tuesday morning when deputies responded to a call in Ladera Ranch, a sleepy inland town about 55 miles southeast of Los Angeles. They found a woman shot multiple times.
Police have identified the gunman as Ali Syed, a 20-year-old unemployed part-time student. Police say Syed lived at the Laderaa Ranch residence where the first victim was killed.
Jason Glass, who lives across the street, said he couldn't sleep and was watching TV in his garage with the door partly open when he heard what sounded like gun shots.
Then he heard a commotion and the sound of a car speeding away.
The suspect, described as a man in his 20s, fled the scene in an SUV, according to the LA Times.
Three more people were fatally shot in the next 25 minutes after carjackings in Tustin and Santa Ana.
"There are multiple (crime) scenes throughout Tustin and the surrounding areas," said Tustin Police Lt. Paul Garaven.
Police say there were a total of six shooting scenes across the county.
From Ladera Ranch, police said the gunman headed north and within 30 minutes carjacked a Dodge pickup truck in Tustin, about 20 miles away. The driver was uninjured, but a bystander was hit by gunfire and taken to a hospital.
The suspect then began firing at vehicles in the area where Interstate 5 and State Route 55 connect.
Three people reported being targeted, including one who suffered a minor injury, Tustin police Lt. Paul Garaven said. Two cars were damaged.
When the truck got low on gas, the gunman stopped at State Route 55 and McFadden Avenue in Santa Ana, stole the BMW and killed the driver, Bertagna said.
The shooter then drove to a Tustin business called Micro Center and carjacked another small truck, killing one person and wounding another, Garaven said.
Authorities located the suspect in a stolen vehicle and followed him to the city of Orange, according to Garaven. When police stopped him, the suspect shot himself at an intersection. Police recovered a shotgun from the scene.
Garaven says the suspect succeeded in stealing a vehicle at each carjacking.
"There have been other people coming forward saying they were shot at or their cars were shot at," he said, but so far none had reported any serious injury.
The conditions of the wounded victims were unknown.
A spokeswoman for the California Highway Patrol said they didn't have any active crime scenes on the freeway but the southbound 55 McFadden Avenue off-ramp would be closed until further notice.
The motive for the shootings is still unclear and it's also unclear if the victims knew each other or the shooter.
"I do not believe any of the victims are related to each other. It might have been a random thing," he said. "We just don't know."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.