Sadly, psychologists, emergency responders and divorce attorneys in Pasadena have all seen their share of distraught exes driven to commit violent acts during a dramatic breakup. But even the most seasoned professional could not have predicted the events that lead to last weekend's Seal Beach shooting. Prosecutors say it was revenge and a desire to kill his ex-wife that led a man to go on a shooting rampage in a Southern Californian salon which left eight people dead and another critically wounded.
According to Orange County's top prosecutor Tony Rackauckas, the lone suspect in the case, Scott Dekraai, wrapped himself in body armor and loaded himself with three handguns when he burst into the Salon Meritage where is ex-wife worked. For more than two minutes, Dekraai reportedly moved through the room while shooting his victims in the head and chest. Meanwhile, the couple's 8-year-old son waited for one of his parents to pick him up from school. "That little boy's a victim," said Rackauckas, in an emotional press conference. "Now his mother has been murdered, and he has to grow up knowing that his dad is a mass-murderer. So what kind of sick, twisted fatherly love might that be?"
A thorough medical review of Dekraai was ordered after his attorney said his client wasn't receiving his antipsychotic medication while he is held in jail without bail.
Dekraai and his now deceased ex-wife Michelle Fournier broke up in 2006 and divorced in 2007. The pair, since their divorce, had strong disagreements when it came to parenting their son and were in court the day before the shootings for a custody hearing, which was continued until December.
The shooting is considered the worst crime in Seal Beach's 96-year history. Until this week, the city hadn't had a homicide in four years. Residents of the sleepy seaside town are shaken, while prosecutors are seriously pursuing the death penalty.
"There are some cases that are so depraved, so callous and so malignant that there is only one punishment that might have any chance of fitting the crime," said Rackauckas.