First Victim of OC Shooter Identified, But Relationship Between Two Unclear

By Melissa Pamer, Vikki Vargas and Robert Kovacik
|  Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013  |  Updated 11:53 PM PDT
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Ali Syed's first alleged victim was identified by authorities as Courtney Aoki, 20, of Buena Park. She was shot to death in a Ladera Ranch home before Syed went on to allegedly kill two others and carjack several vehicles, authorities said. Vikki Vargas reports from Tustin for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Feb. 20, 2013.

Vikki Vargas

Ali Syed's first alleged victim was identified by authorities as Courtney Aoki, 20, of Buena Park. She was shot to death in a Ladera Ranch home before Syed went on to allegedly kill two others and carjack several vehicles, authorities said. Vikki Vargas reports from Tustin for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Feb. 20, 2013.

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Authorities have identified a woman they say was killed by an Orange County man who allegedly went on a shooting and carjacking rampage on Tuesday before killing himself.

Ali Syed's first alleged victim was identified by authorities as Courtney Aoki, 20, of Buena Park. She was shot to death in a Ladera Ranch home before Syed went on to allegedly kill two others and carjack several vehicles, authorities said.

She was shot repeatedly with a 12-guage shotgun, authorities said.

Syed's relationship to Aoki remained "unconfirmed and unknown," Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino said.

Aoki’s mother told NBC4 News that she is "completely shocked" by reports surrounding her daughter’s death, namely that the 20 year old was working as a stripper. The victim’s mother said her daughter worked as a receptionist for a photographer and planned to attend college come April.

She had a boyfriend, who is not Syed, Aoki’s mother said.

Aoki's death was the first in a series of crimes Tuesday morning that ended in Orange when Syed, 20, shot himself at an intersection. Aoki was killed in the Ladera Ranch house where Syed lived with his parents.

There was a delay in identifying Aoki because she had no identification on her and an initial fingerprint test did not work, authorities said. No missings person report was filed for her and there was no vehicle associated with her at the home.

Syed was described by Amormino as "a loner, a gamer" who had taken one or two classes at a time at Saddleback College, where he studied computers. He was unemployed.

"He spent a lot of time alone in his room playing video games," Amormino said.

No narcotics were found in Syed's room. Authorities were doing narcotics tests on Syed's body, Amormino said.

A 911 call from Syed's parents brought authorities to the scene. They said they their son had left the home in their SUV after they heard gunshots.

"I think they got into a fight or something," Syed's father said.

The couple did not know Aoki was in their house, Amormino said.

The shotgun allegedly used by Syed had been given to him by his father, who purchased it legally, authorities said.

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