Mother of spree suspect appears in court

Feb. 26, 2013 at 4:02 PM
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SANTA ANA, Calif., Feb. 26 (UPI) -- The mother of the accused gunman who went on a killing spree last week in Orange County, Calif., to face her own hit-and-run charge.

Superior Court Judge Gregg Prickett set another pretrial date of April 15 for Sarwat Syed, 43, The Orange County Register reported.

Her son Ali Syed, 20, was accused of carrying out a shooting spree, leaving four dead, that began at his parents' Ladera Ranch home and ended in Orange, where he killed himself.

Sarwat Syed is accused of leaving the scene of a June 2011 accident. If convicted of felony hit-and-run, she faces a maximum sentence of seven years, the Register said.

Ava O'Connor, 4, of Orange, a passenger in the other car in the accident, had to undergo a nine-hour operation to fix her jaw, upper palate, eye sockets and nose, was in a coma for 12 days and spent nearly a month in a hospital.

"The Syeds are victims in this case just as much as other people are victims," attorney Vincent LaBarbera Jr. after Sarwat Syed made a 60-second appearance in the Santa Ana courtroom, hiding her face with tissue and leaving immediately afterward.

In the shooting spree, the first report came from the home in Ladera Ranch where a woman was found dead after a 911 call from inside the home, the Register reported last week.

The shooter fled in a sports utility vehicle and then allegedly carjacked three vehicles in Tustin, police said.

Tustin police said the suspect attempted to carjack multiple vehicles in Tustin, with each of the shootings occurring several minutes apart. In the first carjacking, a bystander was shot but not seriously injured.

The driver of the second carjacked vehicle was shot and killed, police said.

The gunman then hijacked a third vehicle, police said, shooting two people. One of them died and the other was taken to a nearby hospital.

The gunman killed himself when police caught up with him.

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