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Note suggests O.C. shooting rampage was planned, authorities say

Ali Syed, 20, killed three people and himself on Feb. 19. A document titled 'suicide note' was created about an hour before his panicked mother called 911, a sheriff's official says.

March 01, 2013|By Nicole Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times
  • Orange County sheriff's investigators say a document titled "suicide note" found in Ali Syed's Ladera Ranch home suggests that the 20-year-old college student, suspected of fatally shooting three people and then himself on Feb. 19, planned the rampage.
Orange County sheriff's investigators say a document titled "suicide… (Associated Press )

A suicide note discovered by Orange County sheriff's investigators suggests that last week's shooting rampage that left four dead was planned, authorities said.

Ali Syed, a 20-year-old college student, killed a woman in his parents' Ladera Ranch home in the early morning hours of Feb. 19, then committed a series of violent carjackings in Tustin and Santa Ana, killing two men before turning the gun on himself.

A document titled "suicide note" was created about an hour before Syed's panicked mother called 911 to report a shooting, said sheriff's investigator Dan Salcedo.

The note, about half a page long, was retrieved from Syed's bedroom computer, he said.

Salcedo declined to say what was in the letter. But he said it contained statements that indicated Syed, an avid video game player, aimed to kill other people and himself that day.

Salcedo said the letter seemed to suggest that the violence was random. "There were no vendettas," he said.

Since the shootings, investigators have attempted to piece together Syed's motive. They are still trying to figure out why the first victim, Courtney Aoki, 20, was at Syed's Ladera Ranch home. Friends have said that she worked as an escort, but authorities have not said that she was visiting Syed as an escort.

Tustin police investigators are combing through phone records between Syed and another of the victims, 26-year-old plumber Jeremy Lewis, to determine if the two knew each other. The letter did not suggest any connection, Salcedo said.

nicole.santacruz@latimes.com

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