TUSTIN, Calif. - A rampage that left four dead in suburban Orange County began before dawn Tuesday when a 20-year-old man killed a woman in his home and sped away in his parents' car, authorities said.
An hour later it was over - but not before Ali Syed had killed two more people during carjackings, shot up vehicles on a busy freeway interchange and left three others injured in a trail of carnage that stretched across 25 miles.
One driver was forced from his car at a stop sign, marched to a curb and shot in the back of the head as other commuters watched in horror.
"He was basically executed," Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said. "There were at least six witnesses."
Syed later killed himself. He lived with his parents at the Ladera Ranch residence where the first victim, an unidentified woman in her 20s, was slain, Tustin Police Chief Scott Jordan said. He was unemployed, taking one class at a local community college, Jordan said.
The woman was not related to the shooter, and it wasn't known what she was doing at the home, said Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino.
Syed's parents were in the house at the time, fled when shots were fired, and reported it, he said.
Jordan said Syed stated to one carjacking victim: "I don't want to hurt you. I killed somebody. Today is my last day."
Jordan said there was no indication of a motive, but he sought to assure residents that the violence was over.
"There is no conspiracy here; there are no outstanding suspects. It was a very, very unfortunate situation, but I don't think the people here in Orange County have to be worried about their safety," he said.
The violence began at 4:45 a.m., when deputies responded to a call from Ladera Ranch, a sleepy inland town about 55 miles southeast of Los Angeles. They found the woman shot multiple times.
It ended after Syed took a construction worker's utility truck and fled to Orange, this time with Highway Patrol officers in pursuit. He jumped from the moving utility truck at an intersection and shot himself immediately, Jordan said.
A shotgun was recovered at the scene.
A message left at the home of Syed's parents wasn't returned Tuesday.