The Seal Beach Victims' Fund Trust disbursed $401,556.12 raised to help the victims of the Oct. 12 shooting rampage at Salon Meritage, regarded as the worst mass killing ever in Orange County, it was announced today.
The trustees unanimously arrived at a consensus for disbursement of the funds, establishing three tiers of victims. The first tier, which received about 80 percent of the funds, included relatives of the eight people who died in the shooting, which was allegedly carried out by Scott Evans Dekraai.
The top tier of victims also included 73- year-old Hattie Stretz, who was shot but survived, and the son of Dekraai and his 48-year-old ex-wife, Michelle Fournier, who was among those killed. Also killed in the shooting were the salon's owner, 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.
The second tier of victims benefiting from the funds included people who were trapped in the salon during the shooting but were not killed or injured. The third tier was for employees of the salon and direct witnesses to the shooting.
``The trustees considered all written and verbal communications over the last three months,'' said Seth Eaker, trustee and communications liaison for the trust.
Dekraai, 42, of Huntington Beach, is accused of walking into the salon at 500 Pacific Coast Highway wearing body armor and opening fire.
``Families had a single point of contact and tier one funds went to those identified by the police department. Further, all other recipients who submitted written requests were verified through the police department as to the facts on record. The trust did not consider internal family dynamics or how families or recipients might use the funds. All funds received were unrestricted and were intended to help the recipients in the way they deem fit,'' he said.
The trust was established in partnership with the city of Seal Beach, the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce and other agencies private and public who donated their efforts to the trust.
- City News Service