In a shocking shooting spree near Salon Meritage at Seal Beach in California, eight people were killed by a frustrated father who failed to get custody of his son, reminiscent of similar incidents in universities and schools. His wife was an employee in the salon but was not present when the incident took place.
The man, identified as Scott Evans Dekraai, 42, was arrested by police an hour later. The visitors in the salon said Dekraai entered Salon Meritage at 13:30 on Wednesday wearing a bullet-proof vest and opened fire without any warning, when the salon was busy with customers.
Randy Fannin, the salon owner was one of those killed, reports said. Initial reports said the man was former husband of a stylist who works in the salon. His ex-wife’s attorney told the local media that Dekraai had been seeking full custody of their son, but was restrained by a court last week.
He had apparently injured his leg in 2007 while helping a colleague after a tow line snapped, according to a Register report.
Four injured persons from the spot have been rushed to a nearby hospital and one of them succumbed to injuries, police said.
“There may be something to the motive as to a relationship with somebody in the salon, that is our assumption,” said Sgt Steve Bowles of Seal Beach police department. He ruled out the involvement of any other suspect in the shoot-out incident.
Seal Beach is a sleepy town known only for the Naval Weapons Station nearby. Home of Leisure World, the first planned retirement community, over one-third of residents are retirees. The quaint “Old Town,” Surfside and the Hill regions are close to the beach and have many shops and homes, which make Seal Beach more like “Mayberry by the Sea.”
In a similar incident at the Virginia Tech University in Lacksburg, Virgina, a gunman killed 32 people before killing himself.
In another incident, John Muhammad and Lee Malvo killed 10 people in a shooting that left the Washington, D.C., area tensed for weeks.