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Fury as salon suspect faces court

The man accused of a deadly shooting rampage at a Southern California hairdressing salon that killed eight people faced screaming relatives of the victims at a court appearance.

The angry friends and relatives hurled insults at Scott Dekraai, 41, when he appeared briefly in court in Santa Ana, California, on Friday. One person shouted: "I hate you."

Prosecutors, who are calling for the death penalty, said Dekraai, in a rampage that lasted two minutes, killed his ex-wife and seven others, shooting his victims in the head and chest, at the salon in Seal Beach on Wednesday.

The prosecutors said he wanted revenge against his ex-wife Michelle Fournier, with whom he fought over custody of their son, who friends said the former tugboat operator doted on.

Dekraai wrapped himself in body armour and armed himself with three handguns before bursting into the salon where Ms Fournier worked, as their eight-year-old son waited miles away at his school for one of them to pick him up.

The boy learned of the shootings at the school, said Orange County district attorney Tony Rackackaus, wiping away a tear and pausing to compose himself at a news conference.

"That little boy's a victim," Mr Rackackaus said. "Now his mother has been murdered and he has to grow up knowing that his dad is a mass-murderer. So what kind of sick, twisted fatherly love might that be?"

Of his decision to seek the death penalty, Mr Rackackaus said: "There are some cases that are so depraved, so callous and so malignant that there is only one punishment that might have any chance of fitting the crime."

Superior court judge Erick Larsh ordered a medical review after Dekraai's lawyer Robert Curtis said he was not receiving his needed anti-psychotic medication while in custody. Mr Curtis said he would probably request that the trial be moved out of the area.

The crime, the worst in Seal Beach's 96-year history, has shaken the tight-knit seaside city of 24,000. Until this week, it had only one murder in four years.


From Belfast Telegraph