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Seal Beach Tragedy Unites Newlywed Couple

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SEAL BEACH (CBSLA.com) — They played “We Found Love In A Hopeless Place” at the wedding.

And for Tammy Hetzel and Doug Childers, no song, Rihanna’s or any other artist’s, might have been more appropriate.

Their love story — the couple was married today at Seal Beach — started unconventionally.

Says Tammy, “I love him. I’m so excited to spend the rest of my life with him.”

The massacre at the Salon Meritage last fall — where eight people were gunned down — united them.

She worked at the salon but moved to another location before the shooting. He and his construction buddies heard the shootings and ran into the salon to help the victims.

The alleged killer pointed his gun at Doug’s face but didn’t shoot. “There hasn’t been a day that’s gone by that I haven’t thought of that day.”

They met last October. The first time they went out for coffee they say they both knew they had found the one.

Tammy went to the funerals of her friends and loved ones. Doug went to the funerals to learn about the lives of those he tried to save. “I went to the funerals because I wanted to get to know each person. Understand who they were.”

At one of the memorial services, Doug met the shooting victim’s brother. That man, today, was his best man. “There are other family member I hang out with as well. We try to keep conversations light when we talk. I consider them to be members of my own.”

The couple knows the bond had an unlikely start. Says Tammy, “I think it’s quite a story. Who ever would have thought?”

A year later, life is good for both of them.

Doug and Tammy were both married previously. Their children attended today’s wedding.

The couple picked the site for their wedding months ago. They only found out a few days ago, that the city of Seal Beach is planning a memorial to the victims about 50 yards away from where they tied the knot. “The location its in, it feels like we’ve got those who were lost with us,” said Doug.

The couple, reports Mills, is off to Mendocino for their honeymoon.

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