Eight People Killed at California Hair Salon Shooting

A shooter opened fire in a Southern California hair salon, leaving eight people dead and another wounded.

Sgt. Steve Bowles of the Seal Beach Police Department speaks to assembled media near the crime scene. Photo: Deergus/Flickr

The shooting took place in the city of Seal Beach, California, in a retail area off the Pacific Coast Highway.

Six of the fatally wounded were declared dead on the scene and the three people injured were hospitalized in critical condition. Two of those victims died, police later said.

Police Sgt. Steve Bowles says 42-year-old Scott Evans Dekraai of Huntington Beachwas arrested Wednesday and booked on suspicion of murder.

“Our officers arrived on scene and found multiple gunshot victims inside of the salon,” Sgt. Steve Bowles of the Seal Beach Police Department told reporters this evening.

“Other responding officers who arrived saw … what they thought was a suspect vehicle leaving the area and made a car stop on that vehicle, and took that suspect into custody.”

The attacker, reportedly loaded down with weapons, left the salon and jumped into a car in a parking lot after finishing his attack.

The gunman got into a truck and drove away from Salon Meritage after opening fire. A suspect was stopped by officers about a half-mile away and surrendered without incident, police Sgt. Steve Bowles said.

“He appeared co-operative, and did not resist our officers when he was detained,” Sgt Bowles said, adding: “We do feel confident at this point that we do have the single and only suspect in custody.”

Authorities did not immediately release his name or those of the victims. In all, one man and five women died at the salon, one man and one woman died after being transported to a nearby hospital, and one woman remained in critical condition late Wednesday.

People gathered at the periphery of the crime scene, crying and shaking. Tammy Hetzel, who opened her own salon two years ago, said that she knew Randy Fannin, the owner of Salon Meritage, and feared that he was one of the victims.

“Randy was awesome, awesome,” she said. “Just a wonderful Christian man.”

A former salon employee, Lydia Sosa, who was at the scene, said the attacker had been involved in a bitter divorce from his former wife, who worked at the salon. “They were never happy for a long, long time,” Ms. Sosa said. “She said he was bitter. He was very bitter.”

Kimberly Criswell, who owns a salon just two doors down from the scene of the shootings, said she and her customers and employees heard gunshots, and her receptionist saw a man through a window as he was shot in a parking lot.

“There was like a pop, pop and my receptionist screamed, `he just shot that man’ and we all ran into the bathroom and locked the door,'” Criswell said.

In Huntington Beach, people were shocked to learn that one of the friendliest men in the neighborhood had been arrested for the shootings.

Dekraai’s neighbors described him as a friendly man who invited them over for pool parties at the house he’d lived in for about six years. They said he doted on his son, playing catch with the boy in his yard.

Seal Beachis a beach front city of approximately 25,000 residents, located about 30 miles (48km)south-east of Los Angeles.

“A crime of this magnitude is not something Seal Beach is familiar with,” Sgt Bowles told reporters. [via Huff Post, The New York Times, ABC and BBC]

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