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Eight Dead in Seal Beach Salon Shooting

December 31, 1969

A child custody dispute may have been the cause of a deadly shooting at a Seal Beach salon that claimed the lives of eight people and left a 73-year-old woman in critical condition. Now, the Orange County District Attorney's Office says it plans to pursue the death penalty in its criminal case against the suspect, Scott Evan Dekraai.

The deadly shooting occurred on Wednesday at the Salon Meritage, which is located on Pacific Coast Highway. Dekraai's ex-wife, Michelle Marie Fournier, was a hair stylist there. The two reportedly had gotten into a fight over the phone that morning. They also had just attended a hearing in family court the day before that didn't end in Dekraai's favor. Their son is 8.

Dekraai was wearing a bulletproof vest and used at least two of the three guns he had with him during his shooting rampage. Killed in the attack were Fournier, 48, Randy Lee Fannin, 61 and the owner of the salon, Lucia Bernice Kondas, 65, Victoria Ann Buzzo, 54, Christy Lynn Wilson, 27, Laura Lee Webb Elody, 46, David Caouette, 64, and Michele Fast, 47. Caouette was in his motor vehicle when he was shot. Surviving the attack but in critical condition is Hattie Stretz, 73, who is the mother of one of the victims that died.

Dekraai surrendered to police soon after the deadly incident. He has been charged with one felony count of attempted murder, eight counts of murder, and use of a weapon. The "special circumstances" of committing multiple murder charge will make it possible for the DA to push for the death penalty.

The Seal Beach salon shooting is concerned the worst mass killing to ever occur in Orange County, California.

Violent Crimes Can Result in Civil Suits
If you or someone you love was injured in a violent crime, you may have reason for pursuing a Seal Beach personal injury claim against the assailant and other parties. For example, if the crime occurred because another party that didn't commit the crime but could/should have prevented it from happening failed to act accordingly, the victim or surviving family members also may be able to hold him/her/the entity negligent.

This incident brings to mind a similar tragedy that occurred in North Carolina nursing home in 2009. The shooter had come to the assisted living facility to go after his estranged wife, who worked there. Eight people were killed. Some of the victims' surviving loved ones are pursuing wrongful death damages from the nursing home.

Wrongful death cases were recently filed in Florida against a couple whose son shot relatives and friends during Thanksgiving in 2009. Plaintiffs claim the couple knew their son was a danger to others yet invited him to the gathering.

As a community mourns, authorities file special-circumstance murder charges against suspect in Seal Beach mass killing, Orange County's worst, OC Register, October 14, 2011

Seal Beach shooting: Murder charges expected against suspect, Los Angeles Times, October 14, 2011

Related Web Resources:

Read tributes to Salon Meritage, Yelp

Death Penalty Information Center

More Blog Posts:

Los Angeles Wrongful Death Claim Blames Metro for Man's Fatal Stabbing, California Injury Lawyers, October 13, 2011

Laguna Beach Personal Injury: Victim Sues Local Massage Clinic Over Alleged Attempted Rape, California Injury Lawyers, June 21, 2011

Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawsuit Filed by Family of San Francisco Giants Fan Who Sustained Traumatic Brain Injury During Beating at Dodger Stadium, California Injury Lawyers, May 24, 2011

Our Seal Beach personal injury lawyers represent clients throughout Orange County, California. Contact Howard Law, PC and ask for your free case evaluation.