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.
Scott Dekraai will face death penalty for killing 8 people at Salon Meritage
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.
Scott Dekraai have been served a restraining order by his ex-wife 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, the attacker’s ex-wife, was one of the mass shooting victims killed at Salon Meritage
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.
Last night, Orange County Police named the eight people who were the innocent victims killed during the Seal Beach massacre.
The eight people killed by Scott Dekraai in the crazed shooting at Salon Meritage were: Randy Fannin, the beauty salon owner, Victoria Buzzo, Lucia Kondas, Laura Elody, Christy Wilson, Michelle Fast, David Caouette and Michelle Fournier, the gunman ex-wife.
Scott Dekraai, ex-husband of one of the victims, Michelle Fournier, allegedly went on the shooting spree at Salon Meritage, after losing custody of his 7-year-old child.
Eight people were the innocent victims killed, during the Seal Beach massacre, by the crazed gunman Scott Dekraai
The gunfire happened Wednesday afternoon, the day after Scott Dekraai is said to have been served a restraining order by former wife Michelle Fournier after she won custody of their son Dominic.
Michelle Fournier, who claimed in court filings that Scott Dekraai was unstable and physically abusive to her when they were married, was murdered, along with salon owner Randy Fannin, newlywed Laura Elody and Michele Fast, a young mother to two teenage daughters.
Another man, David Caouette, was killed outside Salon Meritage by a shot to the head as he sat in his Land Rover.
Other two women, Victoria Buzzo and Christy Wilson, were murdered and another 73-year-old woman, Hattie Stretz, is in a serious condition in hospital. Hattie Stretz is the mother of Laura Elody.
His last victim was 65-year-old Lucia Kondas, who was the oldest person killed at the salon.
Wednesday event at Salon Meritage in Seal Beach was the deadliest mass killing in Orange County history.
After the terrifying shooting at Salon Meritage, Orange County authorities rushed to the scene and seized Scott Dekraai in a traffic stop half a mile away.
Scott Dekraai is said to have moved to Seal Beach in 2009, after he was honourably discharged from the military because of a work-related leg injury.
The gunman worked on tugboats after being discharged by the military and walked with a limp after a boat accident.
Scott Dekraai allegedly remarried Mindy Miguel, his rehab nurse, who is currently assisting detectives with their investigations.
Salon Meritage owner, Randy Fannin died in the shooting after he is said to have confronted Scott Dekraai.
One of Michelle Fournier’s best friends, Christy Wilson, who is married, also died in the shooting.
Christy Wilson was reportedly in court with Michelle Fournier on Tuesday to testify on her friend’s behalf during her custody case.
Mother-of-two, Victoria Buzzo, 54, was killed just a few months after the death of her father.
Seal Beach youth soccer team, Beach Futbol Club, sent out a message to its members announcing that Michelle Fast, who is a mother of one of the players, had died in the shooting at Salon Meritage. Michelle Fast has two teenage daughters.
“It is with great sadness that we write to let you know that one of the victims in the senseless Seal Beach tragedy was Michelle Fast, wife of Patrick Fast who manages our Girls U16 White team, and mother of Lisa Fast a player on that team. Please keep the Fast family in your prayers.”
The newlywed Laura Elody, 46, was also killed during massacre. Laura’s mother, Hattie Stretz, 73, was also shot in the salon and she is still in a critical condition at hospital.
Laura Elody is said to have been styling her elderly mother’s hair when she was killed.
Seal Beach, a quiet beachfront city of approximately 25,000 residents, identifies itself as the Gateway to Southern California’s Orange County and is located about 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Sandra Bullock is among its famous residents.
Eight people have been killed Wednesday afternoon by a gunman at Salon Meritage in Seal Beach, California.
The gunman, Scott Dekraai, apparently enraged over a custody dispute walked into a crowded Seal Beach hair salon where his ex-wife worked and opened fire, killing eight people and critically wounding another person in the deadliest shooting in Orange County history.
The 41-year-old gunman is said to have shot a total of nine hairdressers and customers at Salon Meritage, a beauty salon just blocks from the Pacific Ocean in the upscale seaside resort of Seal Beach.
A 41-year-old gunman is said to have shot a total of nine hairdressers and customers at Salon Meritage, a beauty salon just blocks from the Pacific Ocean in the upscale seaside resort of Seal Beach
According to authorities, the attacker stormed in the salon at 1:30 p.m. and sprayed with gunfire as victims fell to the floor and those who could escape ran onto the street or hid in neighboring businesses in the bustling area of trendy restaurants and shops along Pacific Coast Highway.
Scott Dekraai continued firing outside, where he shot one man who apparently tried to flee in a Range Rover.
Six people were pronounced dead at the scene. Three others, including a 73-year-old woman, were initially rushed to the trauma center at Long Beach Memorial Hospital in critical condition, where two of them died later. One of the shooting victims is thought to be Salon Meritage owner, Randy Fannin, and the other one is Scott Dekraai’s ex-wife, Michelle Fournier. All the victims were adults.
The gunman, who used to work in the military, had allegedly threatened violence after losing the custody of his and Michelle Fournier 7-year-old son, Dominic.
Scott Dakraai was arrested about half a mile away and was the sole suspect in the rampage, according to police
An officer saw the suspect leaving the area as police responded to reports of the gunfire. Scott Dakraai was arrested about half a mile away and was the sole suspect in the rampage, according to police.
Scott Dakraai, a Huntington Beach resident, was thought to have been wearing body armor during the attack.
When officers raided his car they found multiple weapons, police said.
The shooter didn’t offer any resistance when he was arrested.
Sergeant Steve Bowles of Seal Beach Police said: “We believe he is the only shooter. He was taken into custody without injury.”
The Wednesday rampage stunned the normally placid Seal Beach community. Just one homicide had been reported in the city in the last five years, according to authorities.
“A crime of this magnitude is not something Seal Beach is familiar with,” Sergeant Steve Bowles said. “This could be one of our greatest tragedies.”
Salon Meritage was cordoned off with yellow crime scene tape
According to Mary Hearn, spokeswoman for Los Angeles County Superior Court, Scott Dekraai initiated a divorce case in 2007 against Michelle Fournier, whose last name was then Dekraai. A judge ruled that all contact between the couple had to be via text or email, except for a 10-minute phone call once a week to discuss their child’s education and well-being.
At the time of the court dispute it appeared that Scott Dekraai was awarded custody and Michelle Fournier had to comply with several conditions to see the child, such as to not consume alcohol 24 hours before visiting. Last year, the case was transferred to Orange County Superior Court at Scott Dekraai’s request, according to spokeswoman.
A local man named Bill Horton said: “[It was a] custody battle for seven-year-old son. Ex-Husband lost court case yesterday. Apparently he had been making threats of violence.”
One of Michelle Fournier neighbor’s told KTLA she took out a restraining order against her former husband on Tuesday.
Scott Dekraai is said to have moved to the area in 2009 after being honorably discharged from the military because of a work-related leg injury. He allegedly remarried Mindy Miguel, his rehab nurse. Mindy is currently assisting detectives with their investigations, according to neighbors.
Outside the salon, which was cordoned off with yellow crime scene tape, witnesses described a chaotic scene in which multiple rounds were fired inside the business and in the parking lot. Kimberly Criswell, who owns a neighboring salon, said at least two shots were fired in front of her business as the attacker shot at the man in the Range Rover.
Police confirmed that one of the victims is male and some of those inside managed to escape without harm.
The quiet Seal Beach has approximately 25,000 residents and identifies itself as the Gateway to Southern California’s Orange County and is located about 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Sandra Bullock is among its famous residents.