SEAL BEACH (CBSLA.com) — As news of the Connecticut school shooting reached Paul Wilson Friday the Seal Beach resident was immediately reminded of the salon massacre that changed his life forever.
“You get that numb feeling. Time kind of stands still,” Wilson said.
His wife of 26 years was among eight people killed when Scott Evans Dekraai allegedly opened fire at Salon Meritage in October of last year.
Dekraai, who was involved in a child custody dispute with his ex-wife Michelle Fournier, 48, has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of first-degree murder. Fournier was a stylist at the salon and died in the shooting.
“It takes me back to a really bad place. I remember that day, I was there. It’s a horrible feeling to relive that,” Wilson said.
The widower said he empathizes with the parents of the 20 children slain at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. Seven adults and the shooter also perished in the rampage.
“I lost my wife in the shooting and it was hard. I couldn’t imagine losing my child, especially at such a young age,” Wilson said.
He said he had to wait an excruciating 12 hours for police to identify his wife’s body and remove it from the salon where it lay. More than 12 hours after the Connecticut shooting, police say they have to leave the children’s bodies in the school as they continue investigating the second-worst campus shooting in American history.
“Those poor parents are sitting in a room, they don’t have their child, the other children have been released to their parents, my heart goes out to them having to know that their poor child is just laying where they were shot,” he said.
Wilson called gun violence an epidemic and is pushing for gun reform.
“It keeps happening and we keep saying, ‘Oh, another shooting, and we are not progressing. We are not doing anything about it,’” he said.
Wilson has started an online petition proposing a new form of gun control which he calls “Christy’s Law”, which would prohibit anyone involved in a child custody dispute in California from buying a gun or accessing any firearm in their possession.