A man accused of orchestrating the worst mass killing in Orange County history will face eight felony counts of special circumstances murder and one felony count of attempted murder, officials said at an emotional news conference Friday.
Special Report: Complete Coverage of the Seal Beach Massacre
"I will seek the penalty of death against Scott Evans Dekraai," said Orange County District Attorney DA Tony Rackauckas.
"The reason for this rampage -- revenge," said Rackauckas. "We believe the defendant committed this unimaginable act of violence because he wanted to kill his ex-wife over a custody dispute concerning their 8-year-old son."
Rackauckas said about 20 people were in the salon when Dekraai entered. The district attorney said Dekraai shot his ex-wife first, because she was in the front of the salon, then continued firing into the business.
"This was a senseless murder spree where nine people were mowed down by a lone gunman, and while Dekraai rampaged through a hair salon shooting at innocent victims, the son that he professed to love was sitting in the principal's office waiting for his mom or dad to pick him up," Rackauckas said amid tears and sniffling.
"That little boy is a victim," he said. "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?"
Dekraai, 41, has been held without bail at an Orange County jail since his arrest Wednesday shortly after the shooting at the Salon Meritage in Seal Beach.
He appeared in court (pictured, below) for an arraignment Friday afternoon. The arraignment was postponed until Nov. 29.
Dekraai legally owner the three guns -- a Springfield 9mm pistol, Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum and an HK .45 caliber -- seized by police, said Seal Beach Acting Police Chief Tim Olson.
"We do know that the victims were shot multiple times each," said Rackauckas, adding he was unsure how many bullets were fired.
Among the dead are Randy Lee Fannin, 62, the owner of Salon Meritage, Laura Lee Elody, 46, a salon employee, and Michelle Marie Fournier, 48, the ex-wife of the suspected shooter who also worked at the salon.
Other victims include Victoria Ann Buzzo, 54; Lucia Bernice Kondas, 65; Michelle Daschbach Fast, 47; David Caouette, 64; and Christy Lynn Wilson, 47.
Elody's mother, Hattie Stretz, 73, is the lone survivor. Stretz was reportedly at the salon visiting her daughter. Stretz is currently in critical condition at Long Beach Memorial Hospital.
A donation fund has been setup for the survivors of the Seal Beach Massacre. More information is available at salonmeritagefund.org.