Former Lariat staffer and boyfriend dead, 2 others wounded in Aliso Viejo shooting

A trauma cleaning and bio-hazard removal crew cleans up after a shooting in Aliso Viejo (Adam Gilles/Lariat)

A trauma cleaning and bio-hazard removal crew cleans up after a shooting at 6 Ashbury Court in Aliso Viejo (Adam Gilles/Lariat)

Updated 10/17/2017

Luke William Ferguson is suspected of fatally shooting his father, 59-year-old Douglas Ferguson and his father’s girlfriend, 51-year-old Lisa Cosenza and wounding roommates Todd Kuchar, 48, and Brandon Dufault, 23, in their own home at 6 Ashbury Court in “The Hamptons” community of Aliso Viejo on Thursday afternoon.

Ferguson, 26, who was described as armed and dangerous, was arrested and taken into custody in Inglewood after he led police on a short chase in a stolen vehicle, authorities said Friday.

Lisa Cosenza was a former member of the Saddleback College Journalism Advisory Committee before going on to study at California State University Fullerton, working for the Daily Pilot and then becoming the Director of Advertising for the Los Angeles Times.

Former Lariat Instructional Assistant Carol Ziehm worked with Cosenza in the early 1990s.

“Lisa was a bright light during a time when the Lariat was emerging as one of the nation’s top student newspapers,” Ziehm said. “It was obvious that she developed a real love for journalism and continued a passionate pursuit of it at Cal State Fullerton and into her professional career.”

ABC7 reported that Todd Kuchar, who was shot 3 times, claimed that the altercation stemmed from Douglas Ferguson telling his son, Luke Ferguson, to get a job a few days prior.

“His dad got into him about all this stuff,” Kuchar told the news station. “He needs to stop drinking beer, he needs to get his act together. I guess it took a toll on his head.”

Jessica Just lives directly next door and was in her garage with the door open when she heard gunfire.

“I had just pulled in and I was pulling things out of my trunk,” Just said. “The first gunshot, I didn’t know, I thought it was a firecracker, but the second one, I knew, and when I got in the house, I heard more gunshots.”

Just went upstairs to check on her 16 year old son and then placed a call to 911.

“My son was sleeping upstairs and he didn’t hear anything because he had his headphones on with music,” Just said. “The cops were here very, very fast. I made the 911 call and then they were here.” 

The suspect was believed to have already fled by the time law enforcement arrived on the scene, according to authorities.

“At about 2:48 p.m. we got the call,” said Orange County Sheriff’s Lt. Fred Thompson. “When we arrived and handled the scene, we immediately set up a perimeter.”

Inetta Horton has lived in the neighborhood since 1995 and was also at home when the incident occurred. She claims to have seen the suspect still lingering nearby approximately 30 minutes after the shooting.

“The Sheriff’s Department told us to get inside. I peeped through the window 10 minutes later, that guy (the suspect) came and kneeled under that grapevine and went towards the street and jumped the fence,” Horton said. “He was in the backyard of my neighbor right behind him when the Sheriff was over there, so I don’t know why they didn’t find him.”

The Sheriff’s Department was not able to confirm Horton’s account.

“We did do an immediate search of this area and we did not find him,” Thompson said.

According to a recent report by the National Council for Home Safety and Security, Aliso Viejo was ranked 10th among the 100 safest cities in the U.S.

“We just got news that Aliso Viejo and Irvine were the safest places to live in Orange County, and then this comes along,” Horton said.

A gofundme page, #ToughTodd Aliso Viejo Victims Fund, has been set up for Kuchar, who does not have insurance, in order to help pay for his medical costs. While Kuchar was released, Brandon Dufault remains hospitalized.

A vigil planned for the victims will take place on Friday at Grand Park at Aliso Viejo Town Center.


Luke Ferguson was arraigned in Santa Ana and charged with 2 felony counts of murder and 2 felony counts of attempted murder with sentencing enhancements for multiple murders and personal use of a firearm causing death and great bodily injury. Ferguson has a prior felony conviction for stalking in 2012 in Los Angeles. Prosecutors are seeking the maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.