Entire city of Seal Beach called a victim in mass killing
A shooting rampage that left eight people dead at a Seal Beach beauty salon last year was so emotionally wrenching to residents in the small beach town that prosecutors say they'll use that as part of their argument that the accused killer deserves the death penalty
In court papers filed this week, prosecutors said that if former tugboat crewman Scott Dekraai is convicted in the slayings, they will present “victim impact” evidence on behalf of the entire city to show that the mid-day shooting had a lasting effect on the city.
Assistant Dist. Atty. Dan Wagner said in court filings that Dekraai, 42, exhibited a “high degree of cruelty, viciousness and callousness,” when he allegedly walked into Salon Meritage and shot and killed his ex-wife and seven others. He's also accused of wounding a ninth person.
Dekraai has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of murder and a single count of attempted murder.
Wagner said in the document that the victims were “particularly vulnerable” when they were shot "execution-style" at close range. The shooting, the prosecutor said, was carried out with “planning, sophistication and professionalism” by Dekraai, who wore a bulletproof vest during the rampage.
Wagner said in the document that he would also argue that the harm done by the crimes affected not only victim’s families but survivors, witnesses (including first responders) and the entire community.
Dekraai has a history of alleged criminal activity involving the “use or attempted use of force or violence,” the prosecutor said.
In 2004, Dekraai allegedly “waved a gun at his wife and threatened to kill her if she did not leave the house,” according to the document.
Fournier, 48, was the first one killed in the 10-minute salon shooting.
-- Nicole Santa Cruz
Photo: Members of the Beach Futbol team gather during one of the city's memorials following the shooting. One of the victim's daughter played with the soccer club. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / The Times.