Death Penalty Sought in Seal Beach Mass Murders

Alleged gunman Scott Dekraai, of Huntington Beach, faces eight murder charges and one count of attempted murder. Authorities say his motive was revenge.

The tears were a dead giveaway.

Tony Rackauckas, the Orange County District Attorney, could not contain his emotion and wasted no words when he said the alleged gunman in Wednesday's "senseless murder spree" in Seal Beach should get the death penalty.

Scott Dekraai—who allegedly carried three guns and stopped to reload while spraying Salon Meritage with bullets—faces eight felony counts of murder with special circumstances, and one charge of attempted murder.

Rackauckas announced the charges Friday morning as he stood before the media—and nation—and said Dekraii deserved to die.

"Oct. 12, 2011, was a day that should have never been visited upon the special community of Seal Beach, California," he said. "The people of the community were made victims of a bloody massacre by a methodical and merciless killer."

Authorities said Friday that Dekraai was motivated by revenge when he armed himself with pistols and body armor. Among the dead was his ex-wife Michelle Fournier, with whom he had a son.

Dekraai professed love for his child, but now the boy has to grow up without him, Rackauckas said. "He has to grow up knowing his dad was a mass murderer. What kind of twisted fatherly love might that be?" he said through tears.

There were 20 people inside the salon in Old Towne when the shooter entered. Some survived by playing dead or hiding in back rooms, authorities said.

"He stopped to reload during the spree and he continued gunning people down for about two minutes," Rackauckas said. "Dekraai shot victim after victim, executing them by shooting them in the head and the chest."

Dekraai allegedy shot nine. Only one survived.

"This coward left children without parents and parents without children ... and this coward has left many of us without dear friends. I am both saddened and angry," said Seal Beach Police Chief Tim Olson.

Also in the room with Rackauckas during the press conference held to announce the murder charges were tear-streaked city officials and Seal Beach police officers, many of whom knew the victims.

Fournier and Dekraai were locked in a custody battle. Within the past two months, Dekraai reportedly violated custody orders, according to Olson. 

Randy Lee Fannin, 62; Christy Lynn Wilson, 47;  Michelle Daschbach Fast, 47; Victoria Ann Buzzo, 54; Lucia Bernice Kondas, 65; Laura Lee Elody; 46, and David Caouette, 64. 

"He was willing to end any life in his path and he did," Rackauckas said. "We will not forget any of these people. Their lives matter."

Rackauckas said he normally convenes a panel to determine whether to seek the death penalty, but a committee was not necessary in this case. "There are some cases so callous and so malicious that there is only one punishment that has any chance of fitting the crime."

Dekraai is being held without bail. He will be arraigned on all charges this afternoon.

Matt October 14, 2011 at 06:25 PM
Burn in hell pal
Cathy October 14, 2011 at 06:39 PM
Right on! Was there any question about what he should get in the first place! NOOOO! My heart breaks for his 8yr old son! Some fatherly love, eh! To death...you SHALL PART!
aro October 15, 2011 at 12:21 AM
What is so fn funny?
John Stanton October 15, 2011 at 12:25 AM
I can't believe they're going to postpone the arraignment for another month and a half. It's bad enough that the families have to live through this horror, but now they have to wait over a month and a half to see the ball get rolling on his prosecution. The judge sure isn't making it any easier on the families.
Toolenient October 15, 2011 at 12:50 AM
I say dont put him down yet because hes laughing and thanking us as thats what he wants. Hes got forever to burn in hell but limited time here. Why not let him die of natural causes but torture him until then so he can feel and think about the constant agony like the family and friends of the people he killed. It would give me some solace everytime the wave of sorrow hits knowing that he too is suffering. Unreasonable? So while the ticker is still good start the cycle of pulling fingernails...and when those are gone waterboard until they've grown back. Honestly how many people would continue crimes like this is we did that? Easy solution.
Donna Williams October 15, 2011 at 12:54 AM
Sure but in the meantime we're footing the bill for his housing, food, and medical care while he's in jail. Let's just get it over with. Save everyone the heartache of dragging this thing out forever and save us the financial burden. It's a win-win situation. There's no doubt that he's guilty.
t barney October 15, 2011 at 01:23 AM
Yeah that's true. they shouldn't postpone this any longer. Give the families some relief. It's obvious he did the crime, there's no reason to wait any longer for the arraingment.
Toolenient October 15, 2011 at 01:41 AM
Listen. It takes an average of approx 12 years to put someone to death so were paying for that anyway....he prob has 30-40 yrs left leaving an additional financial burden of 18-28 yrs for ONE man's sentence. If a more extreme punishment prevented just ONE SINGLE crime worthy of a life sentence (which it would among a multitude of others) then its financially beneficial while preventing the multitudes of crimes and LIVES. This actually makes complete and utter financial sense to do...worst case lets TRY it to see what happens...put his head on a stake and televise it 24/7 since our current method of choking out $50K per inmate to smite them with HBO, a temperpedic strewn with egyptian cotton and down pillows, 3 course meals and full healthcare just doesnt seem to be that intimidating.
Tonto October 15, 2011 at 02:49 AM
this guy needs Taliban type justice :(
Josh October 16, 2011 at 12:20 AM
I know some people who know this guy who describe him as a normal dude who loved to surf, camp and fish and hang out with his son. I knew the girl that died in the tugboat accident with him. I know they diagnosed him with PTSD and he was on anti depressants or whatever, but how do you go from such a normal life to killing 8-9 people, I just dont get it. 1 day you are playing catch with your kid, next day you are mass murderer?? WTF, How & Why??? Ill never understand!
welford hart October 16, 2011 at 12:26 PM
they should have just shot this bum on site, forgot all the court papers and lawyers, it might be wrong, but an eye for an eye.
Reg Cliff October 16, 2011 at 06:19 PM
In the meantime would it be horrible if someone sent him a basket of fruit with Paraponera clavata (Bullet Ants) in it. Or send him a new comb or brush covered in Dermatobia hominis (Human Bot Fly) eggs. These ants have the worst sting know in the entire Kingdom Arthropoda. That get noticed pretty quickly but to prevent spread someone would have to call in about 7 weeks and let them know to remove the fly larva from his body and/or brain. Wouldn't that just be horrible.


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