Accused California salon shooter to be arraigned Wednesday

Scott Evans Dekraai is accused of shooting eight people, including his ex-wife, to death in October.

Story highlights

  • Scott Evans Dekraai, 41, is charged with killing his ex-wife and seven others
  • He previously pleaded not guilty to eight counts of first-degree murder
  • He was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday; arraignment Wednesday
A man who allegedly shot his ex-wife and seven other people to death in the deadliest shooting in Orange County, California, has been indicted and will be arraigned Wednesday afternoon, prosecutors said.
Scott Evans Dekraai, 42, was indicted Tuesday on multiple charges related to the October 12, 2011, shooting at the Salon Meritage hair salon in the small coastal community of Seal Beach, the Orange County District Attorney's office said in a statement.
The Huntington Beach resident faces eight felony counts of special circumstances murder for committing multiple murders and one felony count of attempted murder, officials said. Prosecutors previously said they will seek the death penalty.
Dekraai, who is being held without bail, pleaded not guilty at a November hearing.
Dekraai and his ex-wife, Michelle Fournier, 48, were battling over custody of their 8-year-old son, and the dispute was the motive in the shooting, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said in October. The prosecutor called Dekraai "a methodical and merciless killer."
On the morning of the shooting, Dekraai and Fournier got into an argument about child custody, authorities said. Hours later, the gunfire rampage at the salon, just blocks from the ocean, unfolded, authorities said.
"He also considered the people who were friends and who worked with his ex-wife were enablers, and he didn't have much use for them either," Rackauckas said of the suspect.
The gunman was armed with three weapons -- a 9 mm Springfield, a Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum, and a Heckler & Koch .45 -- and was wearing body armor during the shooting rampage, Rackauckas said. He used at least two of those guns, the prosecutor said.
Rackauckas summarized the mass shooting, saying Dekraai "walked through the salon shooting anyone close enough to hit. He stopped to reload during this spree, and he continued gunning people down. He was not satisfied with murdering his intended target, his ex-wife. For almost two minutes, Dekraai shot victim after victim, executing people by shooting them in the head and chest.
"He shot eight people inside the salon. But he was not done. He then walked out of the salon and shot a ninth victim, a male who was sitting nearby in a parked Range Rover.
While Dekraai allegedly carried out the mass murder, his son was sitting alone in the principal's office at school, waiting for his mother or father to pick him up, authorities said.
In addition to Fournier, of Los Alamitos, the people killed were salon employee Victoria Ann Buzzo, 54, of Laguna Beach; David Caouette, 64, of Seal Beach, who was in the vehicle outside the salon; salon employee Laura Lee Elody, 46, of Huntington Beach; salon owner Randy Lee Fannin, 62, of Murrieta; salon client Michele Daschbach Fast, 47, of Seal Beach; salon client Lucia Bernice Kondas, 65, of Huntington Beach; and salon employee Christy Lynn Wilson, 47, of Lakewood, authorities said.
The ninth victim, Harriet Stretz, 73, of Los Alamitos, was critically wounded at the salon while getting her hair done by her daughter, Laura Elody, who was among the victims.
Police arrested Dekraai without incident as he was trying to leave the scene in a vehicle two blocks from the salon, police said.
The shooting is the deadliest in Orange County history. In 1976, Edward Charles Allaway shot nine people, killing seven, at California State University Fullerton.