Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Gunman kills eight in salon attack

An onlooker reacts near the site where six people were killed in a shooting at a hair salon in Seal Beach, California (AP)
An onlooker reacts near the site where six people were killed in a shooting at a hair salon in Seal Beach, California (AP)
The site where six people were killed and three wounded in a shooting at a hair salon in Seal Beach, California (AP)

A gunman opened fire in a busy hairdressing salon in a quiet seaside community, killing eight people and critically wounding another.

The gunman, said to be the ex-husband of one of the stylists, got into a truck and drove away from Salon Meritage in Seal Beach, Southern California, about 30 miles from Los Angeles, after the rampage.

Bodies were seen scattered throughout the salon in the aftermath of the shooting.

A man was stopped by officers about a half a mile away and surrendered without incident, while saying he had multiple weapons with him, police sergeant Steve Bowles said.

Seal Beach police later confirmed the identity of the suspect as 42-year-old Scott Evans Dekraai, of Huntington Beach. He was arrested and booked on suspicion of murder.

Friends of the salon owner said the gunman was the ex-husband of a hairdresser who worked there. Two former salon employees said the couple had gone through a bitter divorce. Sgt Bowles would only say: "There may be something to the motive as to a relationship with somebody in the salon, that is our assumption."

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

Dekraai, in handcuffs, was placed in a patrol car and taken away about two and a half hours after the shooting. A new white pick-up truck that was believed to be his was parked on the modest residential street with its doors open. The suspect was co-operative when officers, working from a description of the shooter, stopped him near the salon, Sgt Bowles said.

Shortly after Dekraai was arrested, police arrived at a house in Melody Lane in nearby Huntington Beach and escorted two women to a white car and then roped off the house with crime scene tape.

Neighbours identified photos of the alleged shooter as their neighbour Scott. The house is registered to Scott Dekraai and one of the licensed cosmetologists at the salon address was Michelle Dekraai.

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