Mourners were set to gather Sunday at Grace Community Church of Seal Beach to honor eight people who were killed in a shooting rampage last week.
The worst massacre in Orange County history has shaken this seaside community of 25,000, and sent ripples of grief throughout Southern California.
Police say a sunny afternoon turned deadly last Wednesday, when 41-year-old Scott Evans Dekraai opened fire at a popular hair salon, wounding nine people and killing all but one of them.
Among the dead were Dekraai’s ex-wife, Michelle Marie Fournier, 48, who leaves behind the couple’s eight-year-old son. Dekraai, who is reported to have had a history of instability and a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, was embroiled in a custody battle with Fournier over the child.
But Dekraai, police said, did not stop after killing his ex-wife. He turned his weapon on others in the shop, and also killed a man who was in the parking lot.
Laura Lee Elody, 46, also known as Laura Webb, was a newlywed. She was styling her own mother’s hair when she died. Her mom, 73-year-old Hattie Stretz, was the lone survivor.
Also slain were Christy Lynn Wilson, 47, an accomplished manicurist and jewelry maker and David Caouette, 64 years old and a father of three. Michelle Fast, 47, and Lucia Bernice Kondas, 65, were having their hair done when the killing began, and Victoria Ann Buzo, 54, was working in the salon. Dekraai also shot and killed the shop’s founder, Randy Lee Fannin, 62, police said.
Dekraai was arrested about a half-mile from the scene, with three weapons in his truck, police said. He has not yet been arraigned, but prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty.
A fund has been set up to help the survivors. Friends, family, neighbors and supporters have also set up a Facebook page detailing fundraisers and other events.
Among the events set up is a cut-a-thon at Blend Salon in nearby Los Alamitos at 1 pm on Sunday. That event was originally set up to raise money for breast cancer awareness and treatment, but proceeds will now benefit survivors of the massacre.