Orange County supervisor wants answers for '17 days of bloodshed'
Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer says he wants to know why a county known to be among the safest metropolitan areas in the nation has seen seven slayings in "17 days of bloodshed.”
He said he suspected that the public wanted the same answers.
"Everyone seemed to be asking the question: 'Is Orange County and Southern California a safe place to be?' " said Spitzer, whose usually safe district made headlines for several days. He is planning a public forum on March 8 to allow people to vent and discuss ideas to prevent such "horrific tragedies."
Spitzer said he expects mental health issues and local resources for reducing violence to be among the topics discussed at the public hearing.
Earlier this month, former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner allegedly killed Monica Quan, daughter of a former LAPD captain, and her fiance, Keith Lawrence, a USC police officer. The crime occurred in Irvine, which experiences few homicides. Before apparently taking his own life in a final standoff with authorities, Dorner allegedly killed two more law enforcement officers in his revenge-driven killing campaign.
Then, this week, Ali Syed, a 20-year-old college student, allegedly killed three people in a shooting rampage before taking his own life. Authorities described Syed as a loner and video game enthusiast. Police believe he killed Courtney Aoki, 20, in his parents' home in Ladera Ranch before fleeing.
Syed left in an SUV, authorities said, and committed a series of violent carjackings in Tustin and Santa Ana that left two people dead and three others wounded. Syed died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head with a 12-gauge shotgun.
"I think people want to know why .... I’m very concerned myself,” said Spitzer. ”I’m concerned about workplace violence and school violence."
Spitzer, a National Rifle Assn. member, former prosecutor and LAPD officer, said it is likely gun safety will also be discussed at the public forum.
Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said investigators do not know what set off Syed. He left "no evidence, no note, no nothing that would explain this very bizarre, violent behavior," Amormino said.
The hearing is scheduled for March 8 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Board of Supervisors hearing room in Santa Ana at 333 W. Santa Ana Blvd.
— Richard Winton, Nicole Santa Cruz and Kate Mather
Photo: Jim Amormino, Orange County sheriff's spokesman, accompanied by Supervisor Todd Spitzer, right, speaks to the media about Tuesday's shooting rampage at a news conference outside the Tustin Police Department. Credits. Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times