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O.C. shootings: Listen to frantic 911 call

February 20, 2013 |  6:15 pm
Courtney Aoki

In a frantic, nearly 4-minute audiotape released by authorities Wednesday, Ali Syed's parents struggle to understand what has happened at their Ladera Ranch home. 

"I think somebody's shot ... in my house," his mother tells a 911 dispatcher, an alarm sounding in the background. "Somebody's shot. I think there's somebody shot."

"You think somebody was shot?" the dispatcher asks.

PHOTOS: Shootings at multiple locations in O.C.

"Yes ... I heard a gunshot," she replies.

Hysterical, the woman tries to answer the dispatcher's questions. "Take a deep breath," the dispatcher says. The woman's husband eventually takes the phone.

"Can you please send somebody here?" he said. "Our son lives with us and I think they got into a fight or something and we heard a gunshot."

The parents said they were sleeping when they heard what they thought was a gunshot, coming from downstairs.

They did not investigate their son's room, they told the dispatcher, but said they thought he had left the home in their SUV.

"He’s gone out," the father said. "He took the car we have.... Yes, he’s not home right now. He drove away."

MAP: Orange County shootings

They said they did not see a victim.

"I have not gone in his room," the father said in answer to the dispatcher's questions. "I don’t know what’s going on."

At a Wednesday afternoon news conference, Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino said investigators do not know what set Syed off, whom he described as a loner and gamer who "spent a lot of time alone in his room playing video games."

Syed left "no evidence, no note, no nothing that would explain this very bizarre, violent behavior," Amormino said. After talking to witnesses and those who knew Syed, "nothing indicated ... any violence in the past or anything of that nature," Amormino said.

TIMELINE: Deadliest U.S. mass shootings

Syed was unemployed and enrolled in one computer class at Saddleback Community College, authorities said. He had no criminal record.

No drugs were found in Syed's room, Amormino said, though toxicology results were still pending.

Amormino also identified the woman shot and killed at Syed's home as Courtney Aoki, 20, of Buena Park.

Despite rumors that Aoki might have been employed as a stripper, Amormino said investigators have not confirmed that information and said they are still trying to determine her occupation, how she met Syed and why she was at his home.

"There's still a lot of work to do in this case," he said.

Amormino said an autopsy determined Syed died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The weapon was a 12-gauge shotgun.

Aoki was shot multiple times, authorities said.

Detectives had difficulty identifying her, Amormino said, because she had no identification with her and no vehicle at the Ladera Ranch residence. There were no missing persons reports and the first set of fingerprints taken yielded no results.

Amormino said Aoki was identified Wednesday morning after a second set of fingerprints were taken, but authorities were not able to locate her mother until about 2:30 p.m. Although Aoki's mother also lives in Orange County, Aoki did not live with her, Amormino said.


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-- Kate Mather

Photo: Courtney Aoki. Credit: Orange County Sheriff's Department