Ongoing coverage of the worst mass-killing in Orange County history

Seal Beach Victims’ Fund Distributes Final Donations

A total of $401,556.12 was raised through the fund established by city leaders.

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    Aidan Smith, 5, walks to place flowers in front of Salon Meritage where eight people were killed in Wednesday's shooting rampage in Seal Beach, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011. The ex-wife of the man suspected of killing eight people in a shooting rampage at a hair salon claimed in court papers filed this year that he was mentally unstable and had threatened to kill himself or someone else at least once.

    Trustees of a fund set up for those affected by a mass shooting in Seal Beach last year announced Monday that the final batch of collected money has been distributed.

    The Seal Beach Victims’ Fund was established by city leaders in October as a clearinghouse for victims’ families after a gunman shot and killed eight people at Salon Meritage. Trustees reported that by the close of the fund in Dec. 31, 2011, a total of $401,556.12 was raised.

    More: Ongoing Coverage of the Mass Killing in Seal Beach

    In divvying out the money, trustees said they unanimously decided to categorize victims into three tiers. Eighty percent of the money went to the first tier, which included families of the eight people shot and killed in the incident and lone gunshot survivor Hattie Stretz, 73. The son of suspected shooter Scott Evan Dekraai was included in the primary tier since his mother was also killed in the incident.

    The rest of the monetary donations went to people in tiers two and three. In tier two were survivors trapped in the salon who were not physically injured by gunfire. The third was designated for employees of Salon Meritage and direct witnesses to the shooting.

    “Families had a single point of contact and tier one funds went to those identified by the police department,” trustee and communications liaison Seth Eaker said in a statement. “Further, all other recipients who submitted written requests were verified through the police department as to the facts on record.”

    He added that the trust did not consider internal family dynamics or how families or recipients might use the funds.

    The Seal Beach community and its local businesses came together after the shooting rampage and hosted events to boost monetary contributions. By November, families reportedly received $250,000 through the fund.

    Dekraai, a Huntington Beach resident, is accused of the Oct. 13 shooting rampage that took place in the quiet beachside community. He was charged with eight counts of murder and prosecutors said they planned to seek the death penalty.

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