Scott DeKraai, a harbor tugboat worker, entered the hair salon where his ex-wife worked, shot and killed her and seven others and injuring one. He was prescribed Desyrel, an SSRI antidepressant [it increases the amount of serotonin in the brain], and Topamax is a drug for epilepsy which is also used as a mood stabilizer.
More 911 calls made in the aftermath of Wednesday’s mass shooting at a salon in Seal Beach have been released, providing authorities with more information about the attack which left eight people dead and one wounded. The lone survivor of the attack has been released from the hospital.
More than 12 minutes of emergency call recordings have been released with callers frantically trying to describe the shooting rampage as it unfolded at the crowded salon. One caller said shots were still being fired as she was talking to the 911 operator.
And on the other end, a 911 one operator was desperately trying to get a description of the shooter: “Is he White, Black, Hispanic, Asian?” The operator also tried to calm the terrified victims and keep the callers safe.
Last week, a four-minute call reveals the frantic scene in the wake of the shooting. A man describes the shooter as a 300-pound white male wearing a white shirt.
The operator asks, “Why did he start shooting?” and the caller replies, “I don’t know, we were right across the street.”
When asked if the suspect was still at the scene, the man says, “No, we saw him walk away… we saw him in a truck down the street.”
The caller stops responding after about two minutes.
Scott Evan Dekraai, 41, was later arrested in connection with the shooting.
Dekraai was charged on Friday with eight felony counts of murder and one felony count of attempted murder.
She told the court that Dekraai had been physically abusive to her during their marriage, and that in 2007 he beat his stepfather, pleaded guilty to assault and battery and underwent a year of anger management.
She wrote that he “is a diagnosed bipolar individual who has problems with his own medication and his reaction to same.”
The couple was in court the day before the shooting.
At that time, the judge kept custody roughly equal between the couple despite Dekraai’s efforts seeking additional time with his son.
Rackauckas told KTLA that Dekraai wasn’t just angry at Fournier, he was angry at the people she worked with.
“He considered the people she worked with to be her enablers,” Rackauckas said.
A salon employee, Christy Wilson, went with Michelle to the hearing and testified on her behalf, according to her husband Paul.
Paul Wilson said his wife stood up for her friend because she thought it was the right thing to do.
She died alongside Michelle in the salon.
After the 2007 attack on his stepfather, Dekraai was prohibited from having firearms after the relative complained that he had been verbally and physically attacked, according to court records.
Dekraai was also ordered to stay at least 100 yards from his stepfather, LeRoy J. Hinmon, according to documents for the restraining order.
The order followed an Oct. 19, 2007, incident in which Hinmon said his stepson attacked him in his Seal Beach home while Dekraai’s then 4-year-old son and two others were present, the records said.
Hinmon said he was left with cuts, bruises and other wounds on his face and arms and that police had to be summoned.
The restraining order also barred Dekraai from having firearms and required him to complete a 52-week batterer intervention program.
Dekraai, who worked on tugboats, was involved in a significant work-related accident in 2007.
The accident reportedly happened in Marina del Rey on a tug boat operated by Foss Maritime Company.
Dekraai suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries in the accident, which killed another crew member.
He later married his in-home rehab nurse, who neighbors identified as Mindy Miguel.
The shooting is the deadliest mass killing in Orange County history, surpassing the previous record dating back to 1976, when Edward Charles Allaway, at Cal State Fullerton, shot nine people and killed seven.
Dekraai sat handcuffed behind bars in the courtroom as family members stared angrily at him.
Some emotional family members called the man a “coward” and one woman even screamed, “I hate you! I hate you!” as she left the courtroom.
Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty against Dekraai. They will try and prove that Dekraai planned out the killings beforehand, while his attorneys will likely attempt to prove that he is insane or was insane at the time of the rampage.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department issued Dekraai’s booking photo Friday depicting the man smiling.
Dekraai’s arraignment has been pushed to Nov. 29. His attorney, Robert Curtis, requested a continuance to allow time to assemble a defense team.
Curtis also told the judge that Dekraai needs his anti-psychotic medication, specifically trazodone and topamax.
Dekraai is accused of storming Salon Meritage about 1:30 p.m. October 12 with the intent of killing his ex-wife, stylist Michelle Fournier, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said at a press conference Friday.
Dekraai wore a bulletproof vest, was armed with 3 guns and shot at “anyone close enough to hit,” he said.
He stopped to reload his weapon and continued on his deadly rampage, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said.
Rackauckas said Dekraai executed his victims, shooting some in the head, others in the chest. He allegedly shot his victims multiple times to make sure they were dead.
As Dekraai turned to leave Salon Meritage and surviving customers and employees were fleeing for their lives, the gunman stopped in front of a frightened man, Rackauckas said.
“He looked at him and didn’t shoot that person, but he went over and killed the man (Dave Caouette) in the car,” he said.
Six people — one man and five women — were declared dead inside the salon, according to Sgt. Steve Bowles of the Seal Beach Police Department.
The shooting continued outside, where the Dekraai allegedly shot and killed Dave Cauoette, 64, in his Range Rover.
The victims were identified as: Scott Dekraai’s ex-wife Michelle Fournier, 48; Randy Fannin, 62, the salon owner; Caouette, and Victoria Buzzo, 54, Laura Webb, 46, Michelle Fast, 47, Lucia Bernice Kondas, 65, and Christy Wilson, 47, were killed inside the salon.
Harriet Stretz, 73, the mother of one of the hairdressers, was also wounded. Stretz has been released from the hospital.
Police arrested Dekraai about a half mile from the salon. They took him into custody without incident.
One customer who barely escaped the rampage with her life told police she thought it was a joke.
“She didn’t realize what was going on until (Dekraai) came over and started shooting at the person who was doing her hair,” Rackauckas said.
Even Seal Beach police dispatchers thought early 911 calls reporting the first minutes of Dekraai’s rampage weren’t genuine.
“Until they realized, within a short time that this was the real thing,” Rackauckas said.
Police say Fournier, was one of the first two victims in the shooting.
Court documents show Dekraai filed for divorce in 2007. Rackauckas said a custody battle over the couple’s 8-year-old son motivated the suspect.
“That little boy is a victim,” Rackauckas said, choking back tears. “Now his mother has been murdered, and he has to grow up knowing that his dad is a mass murderer. What kind of sick, twisted fatherly love might that be?”
In May, Fournier claimed in court papers that Dekraai was mentally unstable and had threatened to kill himself or someone else at least once.
Fournier’s relatives said Dekraai devoted seemingly unlimited resources to try to take custody away from his ex-wife. He accused her of being an “uncaring, selfish drunk” and later of abusing their son.
“I don’t know who that person is that he is describing, but it certainly isn’t me,” she said in court records.
She, in turn, accused him of “grilling” their son about his mother for so long that it left the child in tears. She also said Dekraai physically and mentally abused her – and was bipolar.
Fournier also wrote in court papers that her ex-husband was “almost manic when it comes to demanding absolute right to control our son and make unilateral decisions.”