Grand Jury Transcript Describes Terrifying Scene At Salon Meritage Massacre
SANTA ANA (CBS) — It took just three terrifying minutes for gunman Scott DeKraai to kill 8 people inside of Seal Beach’s Salon Meritage, a witness said in a grand jury transcript that was released Thursday.
The testimony from Gordon Gallego was part of a grand jury transcript documenting the proceedings where defendant DeKraai was indicted on multiple counts of murder.
Eight people were killed and a 73-year-old woman was seriously injured on Oct. 12 when Dekraai allegedly went on a shooting rampage at the Salon Meritage. Dekraai was in the middle of a custody battle with his ex-wife, and friends said Dekraai had previously threatened to kill her twice, once telling her he would shoot her at work.
Gallego testified that on the afternoon of Oct. 12, he saw DeKraai walk into the salon toward his ex-wife Michelle Fournier and her co-worker Christy Wilson, who were at the shampoo bowl.
“I heard him blurt out, ‘this is what you wanted?’ or “this is how you wanted it,” and he started shooting both girls,” the transcript said.
According to the grand jury transcript, when they heard gunshots, Gallego and another employee ran into a bathroom and locked themselves inside. At least 8 other people were in the salon near DeKraai.
During questioning, a deputy district attorney asked, “as you went into the bathroom, could you hear noises from outside in the main salon area still?”
Gallego told the grand jury he heard constant screaming and gunshots, 20 or 30 in all.
Gallego said the next victim was hair stylist Laura Elody. She was looking for a place to hide from DeKraai and he could hear her banging on the door of the facial room.
“I heard her stop banging on the door and lean up against the bathroom door,” Gallego said, according to the transcript. Gallego testified that he could hear Elody talking to DeKraai.
“What did you hear her say?” Gallego was asked.
“‘You don’t have to do this…please don’t kill me,’” Gallego testified he heard Elody say. Gallego says he heard Dekraai shoot her, two or three times.
“I heard her take her last breath,” Gallego said.
A few minutes after trying to connect to 911, Gallego testified he left the bathroom and saw several bodies lying on the salon floor.
A second witness, Kenneth Caleb, was having lunch next door to the scene of the massacre. Caleb told the grand jury he saw DeKraai leaving Salon Meritage, looking like a derelict.
“As he is walking, I’m trying to put the picture together…everyone is running but this one gentleman,” Caleb said. “Just very calm…he had zero expression on his face.”
According to Caleb, he witnessed one last act of brutal violence — watching DeKraai kill his 8th victim, David Caouette, as he sat in his car in the parking lot.