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Seal Beach Beauty Salon Massacre: Eight Killed, One Wounded

Seal Beach Beauty Salon Massacre: Eight Killed, One Wounded

Chris Carlson/AP

Updated at the bottom: The suspect has been identified in reports. First posted at 3:29 p.m.

A man opened fire at a beauty salon on Seal Beach this afternoon, killing eight six and wounding one three others, authorities said.

Police first received calls of shots fired about 1:21 p.m. at Salon Meritage in the 500 block of Pacific Coast Highway, cops said.

Sgt. Steve Bowles of the Seal Beach Police Department told reporters in a news conference aired at KNX 1070 Newsradio that a suspect was nabbed peacefully in a traffic stop about a half mile from the salon.

He said all the "stations" at the salon appeared to be occupied when shooting broke out and that at least one of the casualties was found outside the business.


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The suspect was not identified.

Motive wasn't clear but the sergeant said investigators were looking at possible personal relationships between the gunman and any of the victims. He made it sound like it wasn't a random act of violence.

Two men and a 73-year-old woman comprised the wounded who were sent to hospitals, according to City News Service. The three were reported to be in critical condition. [Two died, see below].

[Added]: ABC7 reports that a suspect was in a white Toyota Tundra pickup truck when cops made an arrest. The station says the suspect was wearing a body armor vest, military-type pants and extra ammo clips at his side.

ABC7 said "multiple" weapons might have been recovered by police.

Bowles told reporters that the northern Orange County beach community usually had "zero" homicides most years and that this was very unusual for the mostly residential town.

In fact he said several nearby police agencies, including Huntington Beach's, were helping out with the response to the shooting.

One witness told ABC7 that a suspect approached the salon from outside and immediately opened fire on a man at point blank range before entering.

[Added No. 2]: Outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, stated that one of the dead might be the salon owner.

Bowles told reporters victims were found "throughout the entire salon." He added:

It appears that the salon was busy at the time and it appears almost every hair station, if you will, was occupied.

The Daily News has a photo gallery capturing some of the scenes after the violence, here.

[Update]: Bowles told reporters that "it appears that two of the three that were transported to a local hospital have died of their injuries."

That brings the number of fatalities to 8.

The surviving victim was said to be in critical condition.

ABC7 reported that the victim was being treated at Long Beach Memorial Hospital, where two other critical victims apparently died.

[Added]: A woman inside the salon told the Orange County Register that a man walked up to a stylist and opened fire. She said she thought it was a "Halloween prank" at first.

In fact, our sister paper OC Weekly reports that some neighbors thought the shots were part of a nearby taping of a CSI TV episode.

Meanwhile the woman, who was identified by the Register only as Cindy, said the man then shot a woman getting a shampoo before firing at a colorist:

I just kept hearing boom, boom, boom, boom. I ran out. I didn't see his face. I just saw the gun in his hand and him shoot anybody.

The paper notes that the shooting would rank as one of the worst mass-killings in Orange County history:

The worst mass-killing in Orange County's history before Wednesday was in 1976, when Edward Charles Allaway, at Cal State Fullerton, shot nine people and killed seven.

A witness told ABC7 that the shooter might have been in a child custody dispute with one of the stylists.

[Update No. 2]: Our sister publication OC Weekly ID'd the suspect as Scott DeKraii of Huntington Beach, a man who reportedly works in the sports fishing industry.

Lidia Sosa, who used to work at the salon, told reporters that the suspect and his ex-wife were in the middle of a custody battle and that she was fatally shot in the rampage.

DeKraii was said to live with a new wife and a son from a different marriage, according CBS2. Neighbors said he is "mild-mannered."

The Times reported Randy Fannin, the owner of the shop, also died in the shooting.

[@dennisjromero/djromero@laweekly.com]