Police have identified 20-year-old college student Ali Syed
of Ladera Ranch as the alleged shooter.
The rampage began at around 4:45 a.m.
when police officers responding to a 'shots fired' call in Ladera Ranch discovered the body of an unidentified woman in her 20s who had been shot multiple times in a house on Red Leaf Lane. Orange County Sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino told reporters that Syed's parents and several children were in the home where the shooting occurred, but none of them were harmed.
After allegedly killing the woman, police say Syed took a shotgun, headed 20 miles north, and carjacked a Dodge pickup truck in Tustin. The driver of the pickup escaped unharmed but a bystander was shot and wounded.
"I don't want to hurt you," Syed allegedly told the carjacking victim. "I killed somebody. Today's my last day, give me your keys."
Police received multiple calls about shootings after 5:30 a.m. The first of these calls was about another carjacking that occurred at a gas station at Red Hill Road and Interstate 5. Syed allegedly fired his shotgun at vehicles on the freeway, injuring several drivers.
Shortly thereafter, the vehicle Syed alleged stole ran low on fuel. Syed stopped at McFadden Avenue and State Highway 55 in Santa Ana. There, he allegedly forced 69-year-old Melvin Lee Edwards from his BMW before shooting him dead and speeding off in the car.
"He was basically executed," Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said of Edwards. "There were at least six witnesses."
Syed then drove to an electronics store, where he allegedly carjacked another vehicle, killing 26-year-old construction worker Jeremy Lewis of Fullerton in the process. Another construction worker who came to investigate was allegedly shot in the arm.
Syed then fled north into the city of Orange, where he allegedly shot himself to death at the intersection of Katella Avenue and Wanda Road.
"There wasn't a confrontation at the very end," Amormino told reporters. "It happened so quickly."
Tustin police told reporters that Syed, who was unemployed and attending Saddleback College, did not have any criminal history. It is currently unclear what, if any, motive he had.