Families of Seal Beach victims file suit against accused shooter
Eight people were killed in the Oct. 12 shooting at Salon Meritage, the worst massing killing in Orange County history.
Dekraai was targeting his ex-wife, Michelle Fournier, 48, and shot her first after entering the shop where she worked as a stylist, authorities said. The two were locked in a custody battle over their 8-year-old son.
Authorities said that as Dekraai fired round after round, he also shot salon employee Christy Wilson, 47, who he later told police had testified against him in the custody dispute.
Wilson’s family filed a wrongful-death lawsuit Monday; Fournier’s family filed one Friday.
The lawsuit filed by Fournier’s parents on behalf of the 8-year-old child, alleges that the consequences of Dekraai’s actions have “devastated” many families and friends and left their daughter’s son an orphan.
The complaint alleges that Dekraai’s “conduct was despicable, in that it was so vile, contemptible and loathsome that it would be looked down upon and despised by ordinary decent people.”
It also states that Dekraai was aware of his actions, which included, “robbing his 8-year-old son of a loving and caring mother, and leaving an extended family with an indelible void in each of their lives forever.”
Wilson’s husband; two sons, ages 17 and 20; and 22-year-old daughter brought the other suit, which states that the shooting was done with a “wanton, reckless disregard” for Wilson.
Sarah Serpa, an attorney for the Wilson family, said Dekraai has real estate assets including his Huntington Beach home, but he also received a settlement from a 2007 tugboat accident that was “very large,” she said.
Dekraai, of Huntington Beach, has been charged with eight counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. Prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty.
--Nicole Santa Cruz
Photo: Residents pay their respects to the victims of the mass shooting at Salon Meritage in October. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times