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Official: No sign Calif. gunman used drugs

Official: No sign Calif. gunman used drugs

TUSTIN, Calif. (AP) — Authorities have identified a woman who was shot to death in a home in southern Orange County by a gunman who went on to kill two more people and injure at least three others in an hour-long shooting spree, a sheriff’s spokesman said Wednesday.

The woman’s name and 911 calls of the incident were expected to be released later in the day pending the notification of the woman’s family, said Jim Amormino, of the Orange County sheriff’s office. She was 20 and lived in Orange County, he said.

The woman was the first of three people killed by 20-year-old part-time community college student Ali Syed in a rampage that began before dawn Tuesday and ended 25 miles to the north during the early morning rush hour, police said.

Syed killed two more people during carjackings, injured at least three more and shot up cars zooming down a busy freeway interchange before committing suicide with his shotgun as police closed in.

The shooter forced one commuter stopped at a stop sign out of his BMW, marched him to a curb and shot him three times from behind shocked witnesses looked on, said Tustin police Chief Scott Jordan.

The motive for the shootings remained unclear Wednesday.

Syed had no criminal history and no history of mental illness or mental disability, said Lt. Paul Garaven, a Tustin police spokesman. An autopsy will determine whether Syed had any drugs in his system, but Amormino said no illegal drugs were found in the house and there are no signs he was using illegal substances.

His parents did not recognize the woman who was shot to death in the Ladera Ranch home they shared with their son, he said. Police don’t know why she was there or how she got there, Amormino said.

“The only two people who knew are, unfortunately, dead,” he said.

Syed’s parents rushed outside and called police at 4:45 a.m. Tuesday after hearing the gunshots, but Syed had already sped off in his parents’ black SUV.

From Ladera Ranch, the gunman headed north and pulled off Interstate 5 in Tustin, about 20 miles away, with a flat tire, police said.

A man who was waiting in a shopping center parking lot to carpool with his son saw Syed had a gun and tried to escape in his Cadillac, Jordan said. Syed ran after the car as it drove away and fired his shotgun through the back window, striking the driver in head but not killing him.

The driver “noticed that he was loading his shotgun, so he simply gets back in his car and tries to escape,” Jordan said. “He’s driving through the parking lot trying to get away and the suspect is actually chasing him on foot, taking shots at him.”

Syed then crossed the street to a Mobil gas station, where he approached the driver of a pickup who was filling his tank and asked for his keys, Jordan said.

“He says something to the effect of, ‘I’ve killed somebody. Today’s my last day. I don’t want to hurt you. Give me your keys,’” the police chief said. “He hands