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

Ali Syed’s first victim has been identified as 20-year-old Courtney Aoki. (Valery Fregoso from Tustin press conference )

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

UPDATE (5:08 p.m.): Information pertaining Syed’s weapon,the first victim, and the 911 calls were released to the public during a press conference at the Tustin Police Department by Orange County Sheriffs’ spokesperson, Jim Amormino earlier today.  

The first victim, Courtney Aoki was from Buena Park, Calif. The reason is still unclear as to why she was at Syed’s residence in Ladera Ranch the morning of the incident. Aoki was found fully clothed and was identified through two pairs of finger prints, as the first attempt failed to identify her.  No evidence of sexual assault was found but more test will be done during the autopsy. All rumors regarding Syed having a baby were stated false.

The weapon used Tuesday morning by Ali Syed was a .12-gauge pump action shotgun that was purchased a year ago and given to him as a gift from his father. It has been reported that Syed was actively involved playing video games on his computer but no evidence has been found to determine his motive.

The 911 call from Sayed’s parents that was released by Orange County Sheriff’s Department contained information pertaining the incident. 

“Our son lives with us and I think they got into a fight and we heard a gun shot,” Syed’s father said to the  911 operator. “We were asleep, we heard something, it sounded like a gunshot, we came down…and i don’t know.” 

Moments later Syed’s father’s made it clear to the operator on numerous accounts that he was unsure if anyone else was in the house. Fire alarms were recorded in the background, but no fire was found. 

This is an ongoing investigation but the Sheriff department will share more information when the time is appropriate. 


One day after Ali Syed’s shooting rampage, his Saddleback instructor, classmates and local authorities speak about the incident.

Police officials from the Mission Viejo and Ladera Ranch area told the Lariat that the 20-year-old woman killed in Ladera Ranch was shot in the face. The victim, without ID at the scene, has now been identified as Courtney Aoki.  According to Saddleback spokesperson, Jennie McCue, Akoi was not a Saddleback student. The connection between Syed and Akoi is still unclear.

A day after 20-year-old Syed went on a killing spree before taking his life, his Saddleback classmates and instructor remained in shock over the incident of the previous day.

According to McCue, Syed was enrolled in one class this semester, Computer Maintenance and Repair I, taught by instructor Eugene Evancoe.The class met once a week on Wednesday mornings.

Both the professor and classmates said that he was a shy and reserved student.

“He didn’t talk to anybody, he just sat back, did his thing and went on his way,” classmate Nick Rupp said.

Evancoe was surprised that his quiet student could commit such a crime. “He didn’t give any reason for alarm or concern,” Evancoe said. “He seemed like a normal student. He was a little quiet, but he was well behaved in class.”

According to Evancoe, Syed was an A to B grade student, who seemed very interested in computer repairs. “He did well on his tests and assignments,” Evancoe said. “I think he liked to work on computers on his own because he knew a little more than what the class was covering.”

Evancoe said that when he told the class what had happened to the young man who sat in the back of the class, he was met with silence. “I don’t think they really knew him,” Evancoe said. “(The class) didn’t really show a lot of reaction at all.”

Listen to the exclusive interview:


Michael Hoefegn, a classmate of Syed’s said that he never really talked with Syed, but that he seemed like a smart kid. “I never saw it coming,” Hoefegn said.

“I’m thankful that (the shootings) didn’t happen on the campus,” Evancoe said. “I’m really shocked and sad for what did happen for all the victims that were a part of this, but I am thankful it didn’t happen here.”

Saddleback’s student disability center has declined to disclose information as to whether or not he was enrolled within the program during his duration at Saddleback.

Orange County Sheriffs’ spokesperson, Jim Amormino, speaks at a press conference regarding the recent shootings in Orange County. (Valery Fregoso/ Lariat)

The desk that Syed once sat at, and textbooks required for the class. “He was quiet and kept to himself in the back of the class.” Syed’s only instructor Evancoe said. (Photo illustration by Kristine Martinez)

Ali Syed’s Computer Maintenance and Repair I class. (Angie L. Pineda)

In front of shooter, Ali Syed’s, classroom. (Angie L. Pineda)