Suicide note from shooter Ali Syed

Ali Syed’s residence in Ladera Ranch. (Kristine Martinez)

Angie L. Pineda, Kristine Martinez, Michael Grennell, Valery Fregoso

Investigators say that they found a document titled “Suicide Note” on a desktop computer seized from the bedroom of shooter Ali Syed according to the press release issued today by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. On Feb 19., Syed went on an early morning rampage that went from Ladera Ranch to Orange, where he killed three and injured five before killing himself.

The release states that the document was created on Feb. 19 within an hour of the first 911 call related to his rampage. While not giving specific information, the release says, “Within the note were indications that the events Ali Syed was responsible for were pre-meditated and planned.” The release goes on to say that the investigation is still continuing, but they have not yet found any link between Syed and the victims.

As details surrounding Syed and his state of mind continue to develop, the Lariat has attempted to gain access to Syed’s school records, but Saddleback College has not released any information.

The Lariat provided a written request to the Disabled Students Programs and Services-Special Services last week, asking for information as to whether or not Syed was a part of the program, citing the fact that any privacy issues stemming from the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) had ended upon Syed’s death.

In an email to the Lariat, Director of Marketing and Communications at Saddleback College Jennie McCue said that the college, “… must respectfully deny your request for DSPS records pertaining Ali Syed.” McCue continues on in the email, saying that the files that the Lariat requested are protected under HIPAA laws, and are not considered to be public information.
According to a blog post by the Student Press Law’s Center’s Frank LoMonte, “HIPAA – the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 – provides criminal penalties for the unauthorized disclosure of people’s medical information. But here is the key: To be a violation of HIPAA, the information must come from a ‘covered entity.’ 

“And the federal government defines ‘covered entity’ to mean only (1) a provider of health care services such as a doctor or dentist, (2) a health care insurance or billing company, or (3) an association or umbrella group of medical providers or insurers, such as the American Medical Association. And that’s it.”

HIPAA doesn’t apply to Syed’s record.

On HIPAA-
http://www.splc.org/wordpress/?p=3363

On FERPA
http://ferpafact.tumblr.com/post/36678018737/school-says-it-cant-disclose-disciplinary-action-taken

Lariat Coverage on Syed Shootings:

Saddleback student kills three in early morning crime spree

UPDATE: Ali Syed’s first victim, Courtney Aoki, 20, was allegedly shot in the face

Ali Syed’s first victim, Courtney Aoki, was allegedly pregnant at the time of death

Ali Syed struggled with classes while at Saddleback

Ali Syed created a suicide within an hour before his rampage (AP Photo/Tustin Police Department)

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