Early reports are that Scott Dekraai walked into Salon Meritage, an upscale hair, skin and nail salon in Seal Beach, California, and opened fire. The assumption is Dekraai’s ex-wife is/was a licensed cosmetologist at Meritage. A ‘Michelle Dekraai’ is believed to work there. It is unknown if she is among the dead. Scott Evans Dekraai was arrested soon after the murders. I will have ongoing updates on this story. SEE UPDATES BELOW. Photos have also been updated.
(The photo below is represented as Scott Dekraai on the web. I’m working to confirm the identification.) This report by ABC’s WJLA confirms the man in the above photo is Scott Evans Dekraai.
By the time it was all over Wednesday, eight people were dead and another in critical condition in one of the deadliest shooting rampages in Orange County and the most violent crime in memory in Seal Beach, a town so calm the police spokesman couldn’t even recall when the last homicide occurred when asked.
“There was like a ‘pop pop’ … and my receptionist screamed out, ‘He just shot that man’ and we all went into the bathroom and called 911,” said Kimberly Criswell, who owns a salon two doors away and knew many hairstylists at Salon Meritage. “I’m sure I’ve lost some friends today.” …
Glenn Zachman, who owns a video news-gathering service, said he arrived at the scene of the arrest shortly after police and saw they had placed plastic bags over the man’s hands to preserve possible gunshot residue. He also saw a bulletproof vest on the back of a patrol car but didn’t know if the man, dressed in a button-down shirt and pants, had been wearing it.
The man, in handcuffs, was placed in a patrol car and taken away about two-and-a-half hours after the shooting. A new white pickup truck that was believed to be his was parked on the modest residential street with its doors open.
Shortly after Dekaai was arrested, police arrived at a house on Melody Lane in nearby Huntington Beach and escorted two women to a white car, then roped off the house with crime scene tape. The house is registered to 42-year-old Scott Dekraai.
Scott and Michelle Dekraai were reportedly in a “bitter” custody battle for their son. Police escorted two women out of a house registered to Scott Dekraai in Huntington Beach on Melody Lane. According to a neighbor, Dekraai has remarried.
In the video below, you will hear the anchor say that Michelle Dekraai was shot. That the salon was very busy, every booth was filled and the shooter was wearing body armor. Other weapons, including two knives, were found in this truck.
UPDATE 10:11 pm CDT: This article is confirming that Michelle Dekraai has been confirmed dead, along with Michelle Fast and salon owner Randy Fannin. A woman identified as Michelle Fast’s mother is said to be in stable condition. No other names of dead or wounded have been released.
This report says that Michelle Dekraai was also known as Michelle Fournier and Michelle Huff. This article and the one linked above both show a very contentious divorce. Smears of her coming from Scott Dekraai’s family.
Michelle Dekraai Fournier’s attorney said he had not seen anything violent from Scott Dekraai. (Business and Law)
John Cate Jr., the attorney for Michelle Dekraai Fournier, told the Orange County Register that Scott Dekraai was seeking full custody of the couple’s son but that a court-ordered review recommended against that. Dekraai showed up for a court hearing in the case on Tuesday. However, Cate said it was merely a scheduling meeting.
“His demeanor was always very controlled, almost serene,” Cate Jr. said. “In my dealings with him, I never saw him get upset, get agitated.”
He described Scott Dekraai as “monotone.”
The Business and Law article also gives this eyewitness account:
“He shot his wife,” a woman who identified herself as Cindy told the local KNX radio station. She was getting her hair done by Randy Fannin, who owns the salon.
“Then he pointed the gun at Randy,” she added. “Then Randy turned around, and then the man shot Randy, and then I ran.”
This article from this morning says 8 were killed and 3 were wounded, two more than originally reported. I don’t know which counting is correct. In one of the updates below, a man was reported wounded outside Salon Meritage.
UPDATE 2:10 pm CDT: The Mail Online is reporting that Michelle Dekraai (she was using the name Michelle Huff) and Salon Meritage owner Randy Fannin are both dead. Mrs. Fannin was in the shop at the time, but her condition is unknown. The same reports now says 9 were shot, with one man wounded and found outside the salon, and that Michelle Huff Dekraai had recently won a court case involving the custody of their son, Dominick. See many photos at the scene at The Mail Online link above.
Scott Dekraai Arrested for Shooting 8 in Salon Meritage in Seal Beach (video)