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Toll rises to 8 dead in California salon shooting

By Michael Martinez, CNN
updated 9:36 PM EDT, Wed October 12, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Two of three critically injured survivors die, police say
  • NEW: The ninth gunshot wound victim remains in critical condition, police say
  • The suspect, a white male, was arrested while driving away a half mile from salon
  • The suspect was "cooperative" and didn't resist, police say

Los Angeles (CNN) -- The death toll in Wednesday afternoon's mass shooting at a Southern California beauty salon rose to eight as Seal Beach police reported two of three critically injured survivors died.

A ninth person remained in critical condition, Sgt. Steve Bowles said late Wednesday afternoon.

Six people were found dead inside the Salon Meritage after police responded to a call about shots being fired inside the business shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday, police said. Three more were found critically injured, Bowles said.

A suspect, described as a white male, is in custody, he added.

Cops: Several dead in salon shooting

"He was cooperative. He did not provide any resistance to the officers and he was taken into custody," Bowles said.

In addition to the people who were killed and injured, he said, "there were people in the salon who were not shot."

Authorities are investigating what relationship the gunman had with anyone inside the Salon Meritage.

"We don't know if he's related or what his involvement is with the salon," Bowles said.

"It appears that the salon was busy at the time, and it appears as if almost every hair station was occupied," he added.

The people shot appeared to be seeking shelter or cover during the shooting, Bowles said. Victims were scattered throughout the salon, and one of the injured was a man who was found outside the salon -- the only victim found outdoors -- Bowles said.

Authorities don't know if that man was shot inside or outside the salon, he added. That man is in critical condition, police said.

The suspect was arrested by police a half mile from the salon as he was driving a vehicle, Bowles said.

"We don't have the make and the model of the weapon" used in the shooting, he said. "There was a weapon recovered at the scene of the apprehension of the suspect.

"He advised there were weapons in the vehicle, but we don't have information at this point," Bowles continued.

Police don't know whether the gunman made any utterances during the mass shooting.

"We do not know at this point if the shots were fired only inside -- or outside as well," Bowles said.

Gunshot wounds were "at all different locations on the bodies," he said.

The Salon Meritage, in the 500 block of Pacific Coast Highway, is within blocks of the Pacific Ocean.

The salon features a receptionist and a waiting area.

Seal Beach is a "small" and "fairly intimate" coastal town where "we have multiple years with zero homicides, so this obviously is an unusual and tragic circumstance," Bowles said.

CNN's Carey Bodenheimer contributed to this report.

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