Reporting Michele Gile
SEAL BEACH (CBS) — One day after the deadly shooting rampage at a Seal Beach salon, the worst mass-shooting in Orange County history, victims were being remembered with flowers, photos and tears.
Investigators continued to collect evidence at the scene Thursday, as a memorial of candles and flowers grew outside in honor of those who died.
The mountain of cards, flowers and goodbye messages grew by the hour at the spot where eight employees and customers were fatally shot Wednesday. A ninth victim remained in critical condition.
“Everyone is so upset here in Seal Beach. I knew one of the girls who worked here and she was well loved, so well loved – a beautiful lady. I had friends who knew them all,” said local resident Gary Roderick.
Police Thursday revealed that the shooting was not a random act of violence. The ex-wife of suspect Scott Dekraai had claimed in court papers that he had threatened to kill himself or someone else at least once.
Hair stylist Michelle Fournier was in a bitter custody battle over the couple’s 7-year-old son. The divorced couple had reportedly been in court as recently as Tuesday.
Fournier was one of the eight people killed in the rampage.
A hairstylist, who knew the alleged gunman, told us that she always felt uneasy around him, describing him as, “odd” and “weird”.
Dekraai, who was caught by police minutes after Wednesday’s shooting, was being held without bail.
“The suspect, Scott Dekraai, entered Salon Meritage located at 500 Pacific Coast Highway yesterday afternoon and opened fire with a handgun, ultimately killing eight people and critically injuring one. Dekraai was spotted fleeing the scene moments later by a Seal Beach motor officer. He yielded and was taken into custody without incident,” said Seal Beach Police Captain Tim Olson.
Dekraai was scheduled to appear in court Friday to face multiple murder charges, which make him eligible for the death penalty.
Seal Beach Police had not yet released the names of the victims to the public.
“We hope to have the names released. I think there is something to be said to just hearing. It’s like we all know, but I think we need to hear it,” said Kim Criswell, who hid in the bathroom of her neighboring salon during the shooting.
Criswell said she and her employees knew many of the victims.
A vigil was planned to take place outside the Salon Meritage Thursday night.