[UPDATED with OC Public Defender Getting Dekraai Case:] 6 Women and 2 Men, OC Homicides Nos. 45-52: Massacred at Beauty Salon
UPDATE, OCT. 13, 1:38 P.M.: At a just-concluded press conference, the Seal Beach Police Department did not, as anticipated, release the names of victims of the mass shooting blamed on Scott Dekraai.
Instead, Capt. Tim Olson, the acting police chief, said those details and others will be revealed at another press conference scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday with Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas at the DA's Santa Ana office. The OCDA also said it will not be revealing any details or giving interviews before that press conference.
Olson did reveal that Dekraai opened fire with a handgun, that he was captured without incident and that he is being held without bail. Olson thanked other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies for their assistance, singling out the Long Beach Police Department and its Chief Jim McDonnell.
But most of the press conference involved Olson and other city officials expressing their thoughts and prayers are with the families of victims and vowing that their tight-knight community will get through this. Police Chaplain Don Shoemaker invited everyone to tonight's vigil we blogged about previously.
The department's tight-lipped stance is not stopping the presumed names of victims from getting out. We previously blogged that Salon Meritage owner Randy Fannin and Dekraai's ex-wife Michelle Fournier, a stylist at the shop, were among those killed.
Based on other media reports and the cards and photos left at a makeshift memorial outside the salon, other named victims who were killed include Michelle Fast, Laura Webb and Christy Wilson.
There are reports that among the dead was the daughter of 73-year-old Hattie Stretz, the Seal Beach woman who survived the shooting and is said to be improving at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. It is unclear at this report whether the daughter is among those named above.
UPDATE, OCT. 13, 11:29 A.M.: CNN reports that among the dead was suspected gunman Scott
Community members are invited to a candlelight vigil from 8-11 tonight at Salon Meritage, 500 Pacific Coast Hwy., Ste. 100, Seal Beach, where a makeshift memorial has been set up by mourners. More details are on the vigil's Facebook page.
Many people are already leaving condolences on the salon's Facebook page. "90 minute facial, ocean breezes, true bliss!" is how the salon had described itself.
UPDATE, OCT. 13, 9:17 A.M.: The Seal Beach Police Department (SBPD) confirmed late last night that tugboat captain Scott Dekraai of Huntington Beach has been arrested on suspicion of multiple murder in the worst mass shooting in Orange County history. The thrice married 41-year-old was in body armor and loaded to the hilt with weapons and ammo on his body and in his vehicle when he walked into a bustling Salon Meritage in the sleepy beach town and started firing around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, police say. Eight people are dead and one is clinging to life.
Six of the deceased were women and two were men, according to police. Clients and family members have identified one dead victim as the salon's male owner, Randy Fannin. The women who were killed were all inside the salon at the time of the shooting. The other male victim was sitting in his Land Rover outside the salon when the fleeing gunman shot him. That victim was rushed to Long Beach Memorial Hospital, where he and another female victim later died. Another female, identified as 73-year-old Hattie Stretz of Seal Beach, is listed in critical condition there.
Dekraai was apparently involved in a bitter divorce and custody battle since 2007 with his former wife, Michelle Fournier, a stylist at the salon. It has not been confirmed whether she was among the victims. They had a routine custody hearing in an Orange County courthouse on Tuesday. Dekraai was apparently seeking full custody of their 7-year-old.
Witnesses say he walked into the salon with a limp, which was the result of a work-related leg injury. He was honorably discharged from the military
The Melody Lane home in Surf City where Dekraai resides with his third wife, Mindy, has been besieged by television news vans. Neighbors have described him as a doting father often seen playing outdoors with his son. He moved in about two years ago.
Huntington Beach is a large city that has seen its share of media circuses. Seal Beach is not. Needless to say, the police department has been overwhelmed by the media attention. There had only been four homicides in the past 10 years there, the last one in 2010.
A police spokesman says the county coroner has notified all the next of kin of the deceased and that the department will start releasing names after consultation with the Orange County District Attorney's office today.
He allegedly targeted his ex-wife Michelle, the mother of their 7-year-old.
He reportedly works in the sportsfishing industry.
Dekraai, wearing body armor, had weapons strewn across the floorboard of his white truck and guns strapped to his body, reports Los Alamitos-Seal Beach Patch. He shot two clients sitting in salon chairs first.
The gunman reportedly resided in a single-family home with his son Dominic from a previous marriage and new wife Mindy, KCBS/Channel 2 is reporting. His neighbors were baffled by the crime, saying Dekraai was a "well-mannered" man who often played outdoors with his son.
However, his ex-wife had told co-workers Dekraai was coming after him and she sought a restraining order against him, KCBS reports.
The Seal Beach Police Department refused to confirm the shooter's identification or the types of weapons he used at a just-concluded news conference. Patch got the ID from people inside the salon who survived, and the name Scott Dekraai also was reported by KCBS.
UPDATE, OCT. 12, 5:51 P.M.: Two more victims of today's shooting spree at Salon Meritage in Seal Beach died at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, taking the death toll to eight in what is now the worst mass killing in Orange County history. The previous worst happened in 1976 when Edward Charles Allaway shot nine people, killing seven, at Cal State Fullerton.
The Orange County Register shares chilling details from a customer who was in a chair at the salon when the middle-age man she knew came into the salon and started popping off shots. His first victim was a mother, and the stylist coloring the witness' hair was also shot.
The shooter has not yet been identified, but Seal Beach police have a press conference scheduled in about 10 minutes.
UPDATE, OCT. 12, 4:43 P.M.: Some Seal Beach neighbors of Salon Meritage thought the commotion they heard around 1:30 p.m. today was from the nearby taping of a CSI: Miami episode.
If only that's what it was: a gunman in body armor shot nine people, killing six including the salon owner and critically injuring three.
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There are conflicting reports on what prompted the killing spree. The Los Angeles Times reports some saying the shooter had been engaged in a custody dispute involving a salon worker, and Seal Beach police saying they don't yet know if he even knew anyone there. His name has not been released.
He was arrested about a half mile away from the salon after a responding cop saw him leaving there. He is suspected of being a lone gunman. What he used to carry out the killings has not yet been divulged.
One victim was found outside the salon, the rest were sprawled across the inside.
ORIGINAL POST, OCT. 12, 2:24 P.M.: The Orange County Register is reporting that nine people were injured in a shooting at a business in the 500 block of Pacific Coast Highway in Seal Beach. The business is apparently a hair salon.