Suspected Salon Shooter in Bitter Custody Dispute

Witnesses say Scott Dekraai apparently targeted ex-wife
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2011 7:13 AM CDT
Police officers stand with a man who was being held in a patrol car at the scene of the arrest of a suspect near the Salon Meritage in Seal Beach, Calif.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
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(Newser) – Tragic details are emerging from the shooting that left eight people dead and one critically wounded yesterday at a Seal Beach salon. Police have identified the alleged shooter as Scott Dekraai, 42, who they say was wearing body armor when they apprehended him a half-mile from the scene. Dekraai was reportedly involved in a bitter custody dispute with his ex-wife Michelle, who worked at the salon and was apparently Dekraai’s target. KTLA reports that she was killed; the owner of the salon, Randy Fannin, reportedly also died.

Friends say Dekraai, who initiated the 2007 divorce, at one point appeared to have custody of the couple’s 8-year-old son, and that his ex-wife had to meet conditions such as abstaining from alcohol in order to visit with him. Neighbors say Dekraai’s ex-wife took out a restraining order against him on Tuesday, and that Dekraai was not happy with her parenting skills or their current joint custody arrangement. Meanwhile, witnesses describe a frantic scene. After the shooter sprayed the salon with bullets, he went outside and shot a man who was attempting to escape in a Range Rover. “He just didn't stop. Anybody he saw he was shooting,” one woman tells the Los Angeles Times.

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