Scott Dekraai may face the death penalty for killing eight people at Salon Meritage in Seal Beach, California, this week.
Yesterday,the former marine, Scott Dekraai, 41, was hauled to court where he faced screaming abuse from family members of those killed in the Seal Beach massacre on Wednesday afternoon.
Scott Dekraai sat quietly behind a cage in court, while prosecutors announced they would seek the death penalty against him.
The gunman, the ex-husband of Michelle Fournier – an employee of the beauty salon and one of his victims – allegedly went on the shooting spree at Salon Meritage, in Seal Beach, California, after losing custody of his child.
Eight people were killed in the massacre at Salon Meritage, including young mothers, a newlywed woman doing her elderly mother’s hair and a hard-working business owner.
Scott Dekraai faces eight counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. He is expected to plead insanity.
The attacker went to Salon Meritage on Wednesday afternoon, the day after he is said to have been served a restraining order by his ex-wife Michelle Fournier after she won custody of their 8-year-old son, Dominic.
Tony Rackauckas, Orange County District Attorney, broke down as he described how Dominic was at school in his principal’s office waiting for one of his parents to collect him when the shooting happened.
“That little boy is a victim,” District Attorney Rackauckas said in an emotional speech.
“Now his mother has been murdered, and he has to grow up knowing that his dad is a mass murderer. What kind of sick, twisted fatherly love might that be?”
The Wednesday’s terrifying attack was the deadliest mass killing in Orange County history.
Authorities seized Scott Dekraai in a traffic stop half a mile away from beauty salon, where the mass shooting happen. He was wearing body armor and was armed with three guns.
Six of his attack victims died at scene, one was killed as he sat in his car outside and two passed away in hospital. A ninth woman was shot but is recovering in hospital.
Michelle Fournier, the attacker’s ex-wife, was one of the victims. She had claimed in court filings that Scott Dekraai was unstable and physically abusive to her during their marriage.
Michelle and Scott Dekraai filed for divorce in 2007. In court papers it was claimed that Scott Dekraai was mentally unstable, suffered from bi-polar disorder and had threatened to kill himself or someone else.
Michelle Fournier wrote he was “almost manic when it comes to demanding absolute right to control our son and make unilateral decisions”.
Scott Dekraai also accused Michelle Fournier of being an “uncaring selfish drunk” who abused their son – claims she dismissed as lies.
Michelle Fournier and Scott Dekraai had been in court on Tuesday, the day before the massacre, and papers relating to the custody battle can still be seen in her car parked outside the salon.
Michelle Fournier died on Wednesday along with Salon Meritage owner, Randy Fannin, newlywed Laura Elody and Michele Fast, a young mother of two teenage daughters.
Another victim, David Caouette was killed by a shot to the head as he sat in his Land Rover outside the salon.
Victoria Buzzo and Christy Wilson were also murdered, while Hattie Stretz, 73, Laura Elody’s mother, is in a serious condition in hospital.
The oldest person killed at Salon Meritage was Lucia Kondas, 65.
At his first appearance in Orange County Superior Court on Friday, Scott Dekraai’s attorney told a judge his client needs anti-psychotic medications and is not getting them in jail.
Defense attorney Robert Curtis told the court that Scott Dekraai relies on Topamax, a medication to control seziures.
Judge Erick L. Larsh ordered a medical review to determine exactly what medications Scott Dekraai needs.
Attorney Robert Curtis also said he anticipates there will be a motion for a change of venue.
Scott Dekraai’s arraignment on eight counts of murder and one count of attempted murder was continued to November 29.