Reporting Rob Schmitt
SEAL BEACH (CBSLA.com) — The Seal Beach community held a vigil Thursday night for eight people who were gunned down a year ago at Salon Meritage.
In remembrance of the victims, organizers passed out candles during a vigil at Eisenhower Park.
Attendees were encouraged to wear white as a sign for peace.
Scott Evans Dekraai, 42, has been charged with eight murders after allegedly gunning down the victims over a child custody dispute with his ex-wife. Dekraai has pleaded not guilty to the murders of his ex-wife, hairdresser Michelle Fournier, 48; Randy Lee Fannin, 62; Victoria Ann Buzzo, 54; Lucia Bernice Kondas, 65; Laura Lee Elody, 46; Christy Lynn Wilson, 47; Michele Daschbach Fast, 47; and David Caouette, 64.
Hattie Stretz, 74, was wounded but survived.
The salon is undergoing major renovation and will reopen later this year under the same name. Most of the hairdressers who worked there are expected to return.
Sandy Fannin, who owned the business with her slain husband Randy, said Salon Meritage “wasn’t just a place where you got your hair done.”
“It was full of life and love and laughter and fun,” she said. “We were a family and the clients were an extension of that.”
Fannin said that “after much prayer and thought I decided I could no longer own Salon Meritage without my husband and partner Randy.”
Fannin said she would work for the new owner, Irma Acosta, a stylist at the salon.
Paul Caouette, whose 64-year-old father David was among those killed, used the vigil to thank his friends.
“From the phone call I got that said Dad was shot, you guys rallied and stood beside me,” Caouette said.
(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)