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8 Dead In Calif. Salon Massacre

October 12, 2011  | 

Seal Beach (Calif.) Police officers load the mass-shooting suspect into a squad car. Screenshot: ABC News.
Seal Beach (Calif.) Police officers load the mass-shooting suspect into a squad car. Screenshot: ABC News.

A man opened fire inside a crowded hair salon in a sedate southern California city, eventually killing eight people and critically injuring a ninth as they desperately tried to flee.

The man's ex-wife, Michelle, worked at the salon and was among the dead, along with the owner of Salon Meritage. Michelle had taken out a restraining order against him, fearing he may turn violent.

Seal Beach (Calif.) Police officers took the man into custody during a traffic stop without incident about half a mile away from the Pacific Coast Highway salon. He was driving a white pickup truck. Initial 911 calls reported the shooting at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The man may have been wearing body armor and had multiple weapons in his Toyota pickup truck when arrested.

Six people died at the salon, and three were transported to Long Beach Memorial Hospital for treatment. Two of those three succumbed to injuries. Police took relatives of the victims to a nearby spiritual center.

The shooting is believed to be Orange County's deadliest mass shooting. Previously, the worst mass-killing was in 1976, when Edward Charles Allaway shot nine people and killed seven at Cal State Fullerton.

Sources: Orange County Register, CBS News, NBC News

Tags: Active Shooters, California


Comments (29)

Displaying 1 - 29 of 29

John @ 10/12/2011 7:10 PM

Another case where if only one (preferably more)of the customers had a gun and knew how to use it some lives might have been saved. However California's stupid anti-gun legislature fails to see the light. Only law enforcement and the criminals have guns here as opposed to 41 other states with right to carry laws

TimFromLA @ 10/12/2011 7:28 PM

So more guns are the answer? Kill the guy? I'm hearing the guy was military. Now a soldier learning how to kill, what chances do we have? How many cops been in a firefight? Remember North Hollywood? How many cops were shot? And how did the two suspects stop shooting? Well, one committed suicide, the other was killed by SWAT. So, even with hundreds of fully-trained officers, two guys were hard to stop. Again, it was SWAT who stopped one of them

Getting back to the shooter, if he was military, instead of giving pistols to untrained civilians, how about debriefing the vets, treat them for PTSD? Why would a guy or gal, go shooting up someone after getting a divorce? Maybe the guy wasn't thinking too clearly. Maybe this could have been prevented if OUR Congress stop CUTTING V.A. benefits and stop whining about taxes. Again, I will lose in a firefight against a cop. But the cops will lose against a fully-trained killer.

John @ 10/12/2011 8:17 PM

TimFromLA your arguments are bogus: What if? Why would...? maybe?...(twice) Notice I said "know how to use it" (training)

As for North Hollywood, those perps had full body armor, including leg armor, plus being heavily armed. Also, the police had to be careful not to hit civilians. It's obvious you have never been in law enforcement.

Chuck @ 10/12/2011 8:25 PM

Little known fact about the North Hollywodd fight; the first suspect who was killed was shot through the neck by a patrolman from over 70 yards away using his duty pistol.

The bad guy did trigger a shot to kill himself but it was already a done-deal. Check the video, obviously an exit wound occurrs through the beck of the neck just before bad guy falls over dead.

Tim, the rest of your arguements are BS.

Bob@Az. @ 10/12/2011 8:35 PM

TimfromLA, where would you hide in a case as above? Or would you just run? Best you talk to some real street cops, not TV types.

Red @ 10/12/2011 8:44 PM

They arrested him?

Tom REt @ 10/12/2011 8:53 PM

TimFrom LA- Killers such as this guy can kill a lot of people in a short period of time and especially unarmed ones. The only likely possibility of stopping someone like this then and there or to at least limit how many victims there will be, is to have someone on the premises that was armed. Without that, the police will likely arrive only in time to pick up the pieces. If you were one of the patrons, I bet you would have wished you or someone else had a gun and was willing to use it before this gunman snuffed out your life. A lot of shooters don't act rationally or are just plain evil. Killings take place over much less than a divorce and often don't make sense to the average person. Since we can't tell the future, it is impossible to predict who will act out and what if anything would keep them from doing so.

Dan @ 10/12/2011 8:54 PM

The reason so many were at the mercy of this person and others like him is becuase California government & police discourages citizens from carrying a firearm or protecting themselves. Fact is the states with liberal concealed carry laws have the lowest violent crime. Arizona last August decriminalized concealed carry. Now anyone who can purchase or own a firearm can carry it concealed if they wish. To bad California government does not get it. I could not take it anymore and moved over 20 years ago.

steve @ 10/12/2011 9:02 PM

The "well trained killer" gave up without a shot the the "very well trained police". Seems that this killer had a least one brain cell left and didn't want to be shot. However he knew where to do his killing in a gun free zone. The exwife knew he was capable of killing and had the retraining order to prove it. She did nothing else and it cost her her life and 7 others who weren't involved. Maybe a well trained civilian with a firearm might of stopped it or at least put up a fight (the shooter was not expecting return fire). Better to go down in a firefight than hiding behind furniture. A fighting chance is better than no chance.

TimFromLA @ 10/12/2011 9:07 PM

Eight people are dead. One is in critical condition.

John @ 10/12/2011 8:17 PM

//TimFromLA your arguments are bogus: What if? Why would...? maybe?...(twice) Notice I said "know how to use it" (training)

As for North Hollywood, those perps had full body armor, including leg armor, plus being heavily armed. Also, the police had to be careful not to hit civilians. It's obvious you have never been in law enforcement.//

EXACTLY, and even with a gun, a trained LEO has a 15% chance hitting the gut of a suspect 30 feet away according to the DOJ. Since I have NO training like an officer or military? Suffice to say that the percentage will be a lot lower? There is that fact. Would you then trust me to shoot the guy of LEOs have a 15% chance? Yes? Then you have a lot more guts than I do and I am for carry conceal

GLENN @ 10/12/2011 9:18 PM

THESE DEAD, MR GOV. ARE LAID AT YOUR DOORSTEP. YOU CAN MOST ASSUREDLY CHALK THEM UP ON YOUR SCORE CARD. THEN YOU CAN FILE IT UNDER, "THE POLICE WILL PROTECT YOU", "I WILL PROTECT YOU". YES, AND I HAVE BEEN THERE TOO AND HAD THOSE PEOPLE THAT YOU WILL ATTEMPTING TO CONSOLE SCREAM WHERE WERE YOU...OUT WRITING PARKING TICKETS ON SOME OLD LADY!

RIGHT GOV., PASS ANOTHER INCIDIOUS AND STUPID GUN LAW FOR THE LAW ABIDING CITIZENS TO SUFFER WITH.

Liz @ 10/12/2011 9:26 PM

I wasn't there, so I don't know the circumstances; however, I think it's safe to say that if you're getting your hair permed/dyed/cut, you will NOT have time to reach for your purse or gun under the apron. No one saw it coming, and no one could have reacted as quickly as the suspect did...since he was fully prepared. Having said that, anti-gun legislature has nothing to do with this.

Liz @ 10/12/2011 9:32 PM

@ Dan: "Fact is the states with liberal concealed carry laws have the lowest violent crime." Could these very states you mention also be the states with the highest L.E.O deaths?

Airborne2037 @ 10/13/2011 3:43 AM

You state that you are pro concealed carry, but your obvious reluctance to pull the trigger leads me to believe that you indeed do not need to be carrying concealed...AND you still arent paying attention to what the others have written.....everyone has stated "Properly trained"...i dont recall any one writeing that ther should have been someone on scene who had a gun but no idea how to use it.

fpdsniper @ 10/13/2011 4:53 AM

The Liberals will demand more gun control over this because they just don't get it. Due to Kalifornia's restrictive laws, these victims were left with no way to defend themselves. Any politician that votes against a law abiding citizens right to protect themselves should be required to give the death notifications to the family members, and to explain why he left them unable to defend themselves.

Bob @ 10/13/2011 5:20 AM

@TimfromLA,

Are you for real? First, citizens have a God-given right to self-defense. Thanks to CA's draconian anti-self-defense laws, the people in that salon had no chance at all. They were just fish in a barrel for the murderer to shoot at his leisure. If any of them had been armed, they would have had some chance distinguishable from zero. Any chance is better than no chance, regardless of training, etc. You're whole N. Hollywood argument is red herring.

Further, such shootings are virtually unknown in states and areas where concealed carry by citizens is permitted. Why? Just like the animal in this story, perps generally don't want to get shot. They consciously choose gun-free zones to carry out their evil acts.

The courts have ruled that LE has no obligation to protect individuals from harm (e.g., Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. Ct. of Ap., 1981). Citizens must be able to defend themselves from evil predators. Again, that's their God-given right that's recognized in our Constitution.

I also didn't see any reference to this guy being ex-military in any of the articles. One article said that he was an ex-tugboat crewman. One look at the pictures would show that if this murderer had ever been in the military, it was a long time ago. Why slander the military without a stitch of evidence? We make your freedoms possible at great sacrifice to ourselves and our families.

Current LE doctrine, based on tragic, repeated experience, holds that active killers must be confronted or stopped immediately. By the time SWAT can be rounded up and brought on scene, it will be all over except the suicide or surrender. Unless perps are stupid and shooting up a police station, that means that armed citizens will likely be the first line of defense against active killers like this animal. Firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens save lives every day. They are great assets to their communities and LE. One migh

Janet @ 10/13/2011 7:16 AM

This was a senseless killing. The state of California need to rethink their laws. I carry a gun and will use it if I had to. I wonder if the court knew this man was violent when his wife filed for divorce. They should have ordered him to seek medical attention. I'm glad he didn't escape and did more harm to other innocent people. My prayers goes out to all the families.

Rick @ 10/13/2011 8:29 AM

Tim from LA has no idea what he's talking about! He's just spouting the tired and old liberal line that more guns on the street kills people; despite the cold hard facts that more guns in the hands of private citizens reduces crime and that accidental gun deaths are at a historic low. He probably wants cops to stop suspects by shooting them in the arm or leg like he's seen on TV cop shows. I was a tactical officer (TACLET South) in the US Coast Guard and now I'm in the Security field. Since I live in California, it's impossible to get a CCW, although I have one for Florida. Had myself or anyone of the many former military security specialists that I work with been close by, the carnage would have been minimalized; that is if we had access to a weapon. Ol Jerry Brown just outlawed the open carry of unloaded firearms and CCW for the average citizen is impossible.

Craig @ 10/13/2011 9:45 AM

Rather than dismissing TimFromLA, I do agree with him that returning vets in need of help for PTSD should be a high priority. With that being said, Tim's statistical analysis/conclusions fall short of reality. Whether a trained officer, or a trained civilian, the risks are huge when confronted by a loonie with a gun. However, the trained citizen with a gun provides better statistical outcome than nothing as proved by this case being discussed. States like CA and especially IL, choose to ignore reality and opt for party-line thinking which in the end costs lives. Sure wish some people could learn from these senseless events.

ScottfromFlorida @ 10/13/2011 10:59 AM

One thing is for sure TimfromLA, we do know what happens when someone shoots unarmed civilians and no one shoots back. Sticking with your argument Tim, the alternative to your question, What can we do if the man is well trained or military? I believe having one armed citizen has a better chance against a gunman intent on killing everyone than laying there begging for mercy from someone incapable of mercy. The bottom line is California legislators have legislated the citizens of California the right to defend themselves. Which should be ample proof the Government has no idea how to fix anything as you would hope they might. Only lawfully armed people stop these incidents because most Police dont get there until its over. I would rather die defending my life than laying on the floor crying. Thats me. I resolve never to die lying down, begging for my life. I take the time to prepare myself both mentally and physically. If someone in the Military can be trained to kill so can a civilian. Its called preperation and training. The facts are these Tim, more people die in mass shootings when someone doesn't shoot back than when someone shoots at the gunman. That is a fact and that alone raises the chances of survival in a mass shooting incident. Arming yourself and training for that day is the only way one can combat these crazy people. It is a lot better than hoping no one comes for us and not being prepared.So, to answer your question, more people need to be armed so the chances of killing this guy before he killed 8 people would have been the better choice. IMO.

john Russell @ 10/13/2011 1:43 PM

Gee USA suppose to be more civilized than these ARAB countries bet you never hear of some JERK going around the towns there shooting women and children HUH they would be dead in hours...NO just scum in DC OLD FARTS making idiot rules tomake sheeple and helpless idiots..Next time a Maniac is running around send them to WV or TENN allot of hunters would not fear that!

Kim @ 10/13/2011 2:38 PM

TimFromLA you have very valid points. I am in law enforcement and giving civilians guns is not the answer. Maybe Cali can alter their law and have only TRAINED business owners permitted to have a weapon on their premises but for Joe Shmoe to have a weapon.......no. I agree with giving our Vets more opportunities to get well. Our Congress doesn't see that. Let one of them fight for our country and see how it is on the other side. Everyone thinks they have an answer but really what is the RIGHT answer....... We can only fight one battle at a time.

Saunders @ 10/13/2011 5:40 PM

Good job on the officers quick response to the incident. further let me state for the record restraining orders some times back fire in protecting indivuals it adds fuel to the fire, and when kids are involved fathers will cross the line to make their point with an dispondant X SPOUSE putting law enforcement officers in harms way we should create an data base with restraining orders issued within the last 24 hour and do some welfare checks on these indivuals to determine their state of mind my heart felt condolences goes out to the nine families that this person destroyed for that I am truly sorry ICE OFFICER.

Gary albert @ 10/13/2011 5:53 PM

It should be an absolute requirement that anyone who buys a firearm have a certificate of handgun safety (at least 8 hours.) in their possession. Would this stop the madness? Unlikely. I'm a Combat Vet, retired police officer, and have a concealed weapons permit, and I still know that the odds are not in my favor in a case like this . But yea, I'd rather have the training, and hope to God I never have to shoot at another human being, than to have my last words be, oh crap...

TimFromLA @ 10/14/2011 3:54 PM

John @ 10/12/2011 8:17 PM

//TimFromLA your arguments are bogus: What if? Why would...? maybe?...(twice) Notice I said "know how to use it" (training)

As for North Hollywood, those perps had full body armor, including leg armor, plus being heavily armed. Also, the police had to be careful not to hit civilians. It's obvious you have never been in law enforcement.//

John, here is proof: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23997718-custody-row-father-kills-eight-in-gun-rampage-at-hair-salon.do

//Military veteran Scott Dekraai is alleged to have burst into the salon where his ex Michelle worked, and sprayed bullets indiscriminately.

Dekraai is said to have moved to the area after being honourably discharged from the military with a work-related leg injury. He allegedly remarried his rehab nurse, Mindy Miguel.//

Now please, someone tell me, if you have a room full of people with pistols, and Dekraai, a well-trained honorably-discharged solider who may have seen combat or at least trained for combat, which would fair better, the nine victims right who are dead or Dekraai? If the latter, then look what happens, Dekraai now has nine firearms.

TimFromLA @ 10/14/2011 3:55 PM



http://belmontshore.patch.com/articles/profile-emerges-of-suspected-salon-killer
//In 2007, Dekraai was involved in a gruesome tugboat accident that killed deckhand Piper Cameron -- cutting her in two as Dekraai tried to save her -- and nearly severed Dekraai's legs, according to friends and news accounts.

"I saw him two years later, and he was like a ghost of who he was," a former co-worker recalled.

Another friend said Dekraai "was just never the same after the accident. It physically destroyed him ... and it emotionally devastated him. Piper was like his little sister ... and he could not save her."//

Where was treatment for this vet? None? He didn't want it? Combine this disaster with his third divorce and losing custody, you have a well-trained angry man. Again I ask, would nine pistols packing employees and customer make a difference? If so, then that means that anyone can go to war without going through basic training

doug @ 10/14/2011 3:56 PM

That's why i moved to Arizona...even though i can protect myself w/o a firearm, I would rather carry a firearm and not need it, than to need it and not have one! a saying here: when seconds count/ the police are minutes away. Police cannot be everywhere when the armed criminal is.

TimFromLA @ 10/14/2011 4:09 PM

@Kim,

Thank you. And I agree that if merchants are trained and highly regulated to use firearms, I have no issue. You know what? If you and I were in the salon Kim, you asses the situation, you do not panic, you do not flinch and you could pull out your back-up pistol and shoot the dead. Then you flip him over handcuff him and call for back-up/help for a shots-fired-suspect-in-custody. You are trained to do that. You may even sit in the back of the room to get a better view of what's going on around you. Me? I would be dead, because I would not know to do that.

Everyone here is either an officer/deputy or a gun owner who do not have the thousands of hours of training a military or peace officer have. And if they do have the training, a good example of what SOME people who SHOULD not have firearms was the massacre in AZ. There were people who carried, and not ONE person got off a shot at Jared Lee Loughner and if they did, they nearly killed the person next to them.

So yes, I agree, if you want to pack, at least go through the thousands of hours of training Kim went though and every three months, qualify. I feel more safer with Kim next to me than I would, as Kim put it, Joe Shmoe, because the state allows him to carry...without training.

krisnlc @ 10/18/2011 12:27 PM

Hmm, this is a case of a stressed out person, going bonkers and killing everyone... This has nothing to do with gun legislation.... although i do agree if someone in that shop had a gun perhaps they would have prevented or lessened the massacre. Even so, stuff like this is going to happen unfortunately, and i am not sure that everyone carrying guns will make a difference. I believe in our right to carry a firearm... so dont use this as a reason to take that from us... perhaps, the real answer is in a quick trial, a quick decsion for capital punishment and a quick execution. Quick equals six months or less... forget the mental stuff, forget the history, forget where he was, PTSD, forget all the excuses for this person and end this situation quickly and mercifully for the families... this guy did it, deal with him not all his baggage.

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