Seal Beach police allege that on Wednesday, ex-marine Scott Evans Dekraai, entered the Salon Meritage Beauty Salon wearing a bullet-proof vest and opened fire, killing six people immediately and wounding three others. Six of the victims were declared dead at the scene, two others died later in hospital.
Police apprehended Dekraai, 42, a few blocks from the beauty salon, stopped at a traffic light. The body armor and a number of firearms were found in his vehicle. Murder charges are expected to be filed Friday against him for the murder of his ex-wife and seven others in the shooting rampage at the salon.
The police have identified the dead as Mr. DeKraai’s ex-wife, Michelle Fournier; Randy Fannin, the salon’s owner; Victoria Buzzo; Lucia Kondas; Laura Elody; Christy Wilson; Michelle Fast; and David Caouette. The lone surviving victim, Hattie Stretz, 73, remains in critical condition at the Long Beach Memorial Medical Center.
Friends of Dekraai’s ex-wife said she was involved in an ugly divorce and bitter custody battle with Dekraai over their 8-year-old son Dominic. Michelle Fournier had taken out a restraining order against De Kraai on Tuesday.
“Michelle was a beautiful lady, inside and out,” said neighboring business owner Ron Sesler. “She was scared of something like this, and that’s exactly what went down.”
Seal Beach is located 27 miles south of Los Angeles. This is the worst mass killing in Southern California since a Christmas party attack in Covina in 2008, which left 9 people dead.