[PHOTOS:] Sarwat Syed, Mother of Murder-Suicide-Freeway-Rampage Gunman Ali Syed, Goes to Court to Fight Hit-and-Run

Ladera Ranch's Sarwat Syed went to court Monday morning, but her appearance had nothing to do with the crimes tied to her late son, who is alleged to have killed three people and terrorized Orange County freeway drivers before taking his own life last Tuesday.

Yet, because of the notoriety of her son's case, Mrs. Syed was obviously prepared to deal with the Weekly's probing camera at the Orange County courthouse in Santa Ana.

Here she is shrouded in black as two young males, one of whom is believed to be another son, flank her:

All photos by OC Weekly staff
Trust us, she's there being led into courtroom:

After her pretrial hearing, she was led to the parking lot, and a black Mercedes whisked her away:

Sarwat Syed -- who, with her husband, Irfan, owns the home at 5 Red Leaf Lane where 20-year-old Courtney Aoki's body was found shot multiple times early Tuesday -- is accused of felony hit-and-run and sentencing enhancements for severe injuries to a little girl in a June 2011 accident in Irvine.

Ava O'Connor was 4 when she was being driven back from Pretend City by a friend's mother, whose vehicle was rammed by the Syeds' GMC Yukon Denali, which fled the accident scene along the 405 freeway near Laguna Canyon Road.

Syed was arrested after the Denali's license plate was linked to an insurance claim filed a day after the crash. Ava underwent a nine-hour operation to repair her jaw, upper palate, eye sockets and nose. She later recovered at home with a feeding tube, a tracheotomy and 10 plates in her head.

Ali Syed, 20, drove off in a family Denali after gunshots were heard early last Tuesday. He is believed to have killed two more people with his shotgun in Tustin and Santa Ana before turning the weapon on himself in Villa Park.

Sarwat Syed was accompanied in court by her attorney, Vincent J. LaBarbera Jr., who told reporters afterward his client and her husband are also victims of the senseless violence and that they are still trying to sort out what happened. The parents described Ali as "gentle" and "nonviolent," and they are "absolutely stunned," the lawyer said.

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JGlanton topcommenter

Can we get some background on the Syed's?  What they do, where they work, how long they have lived in Ladera, what social groups they are in, are they immigrants, what do the neighbors say about them (does momma drive like a crazy woman through the neighborhood)....

Don't you reporters have ways of looking some of this stuff up?


My wife was driving the honda along with my son who was sitting next to the little girl in the car that was  ran off the road by this lady. So thank you ocsurfgirl for comments.This has not been easy for either of our families. However everyday we try to get by. We really just want justice to be served so we can move on with our lives.. P.S. there is so much more that  i would like to express however not able to at this time. Thank you everyone.


Who gives a rat's ass what they say about their evil kid defender of scumbags. Of course they're going to say that he was a great kid. Yeah, right, just like his mom. She mows down a car and splits, then wants insurance to pay for damage to her car but can't be bothered with the little girl's medical bills she almost killed. Somehow she can afford a high priced attorney who is dragging the case through the courts causing the victims to suffer through years of hearings and a trial.  

Take responsibility for your actions spawner of evil. Spare the victims of your crimes even more grief than you have already caused. Take your punishment. Haven't you and your kin caused enough grief? Or are you an evil coward just like your pos son?




@poopoo11 Hang in there. It will get better. I promise. I hope that Ava, your son and wife are making full recoveries. I know going through the justice system as a victim is extremely difficult and frustrating. It seems like the criminals have all the rights. 

There are services and support at crime survivors and cal vcp. I believe Cal vcp recently extended the claim period to two years. Victim witness also has some funds available for appointments and bills, etc. Just a little help really does go a long way. OCDA is slowly getting better at recognizing victims rights because of Marsy's Law and people like Todd Spitzer, Mike Fell, and Patricia Wenskunas who fight tirelessly for victims rights.

MatthewTCoker topcommenter

@poopoo11 So sorry your family is going through this. When you are ready to express, drop me a line at mcoker@ocweekly.com.

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