Seal Beach Massacre: Suspect Suffered From PTSD

The suspect suffered post tramatic stress after a nasty 2007 tugboat accident.

ByKevin Dolak and Christina Ng
October 14, 2011, 5:21 AM

Oct. 14, 2011— -- The man that allegedly entered a California hair salon and shot and killed his ex-wife and seven others suffered from post-traumatic-stress disorder after a 2007 accident where he suffered serious injuries and which left a colleague dead.

Scott Evans Dekraai, who is believed to have entered the Salon Mertage in Seal Beach, Calif., opened fire and killed eight people on Wednesday, including his wife Michelle Fournier Dekraai, was involved in a 2007 tugboat accident that mangled his leg and left a colleague dead. The Associated Press reports that the incident left the ex-Marine with post-traumatic-stress disorder.

Dekraai was a tugboat crew member and former fishing boat captain when a tow line snapped on his boat in February 2007 two miles off the coast of Los Angeles.

26-year-old Piper Cameron was knocked out by the severed line, breaking her neck. Dekraai broke his leg when he attempted to go to her aid.

His ex-wife, who was a stylist at the salon, had claimed that her husband was unstable and physically abusive during their marriage and prior to the accident, according to the AP.

Her friend Sharyn White told the AP that Michelle Fournier Dekraai said that her ex-husband had stopped by the salon weeks prior and threatened to kill her and the others at the salon. Though White said her friend told her that everyone else at the salon laughed off the threat, she took it seriously.

"She said 'Sharyn, Scott has threatened to come in here and kill us,'" White told the AP.

White added that Michelle Fournier Dekraai said her husband had previously made similar threats and at one point held a gun to her head.

Prior to Wednesday's shooting the ex-couple was engaged in a custody dispute over their 7-year-old son.

In the court document, she alleged that Scott Dekraai was "almost manic" in regards to decisions about their son and she asked the court to refuse his request for more time with the child, according to the AP.

Court documents also reveal that Scott Dekraai's step-father also filed a restraining order against him, according to ABC News' Los Angeles affiliate KABC.

Seal Beach police allege that Dekraai, an ex-marine, entered Salon Meritage in Seal Beach, Calif., wearing a bullet-proof vest and opened fire, killing six people immediately. The six victims were declared dead at the scene.

Three people were hospitalized with severe wounds and two of them later died, police said.

On Thursday police identified and released the names of the eight people killed in the shooting.

Those killed included: salon owner Randy Fannin, Victoria Buzzo, Lucia Kondas, Laura Elody, David Caouette, Christy Wilson, Michelle Fast and Michelle Fournier Dekraai, The Associated Press reported.

It was not immediately clear if the victims were customers or employees.

Fournier's relatives told affiliate KABC that she was killed in the shooting, and that she was the main target of the attack because of the alleged custody dispute.

Authorities responded to the shooting at the salon in the coastal town about 30 miles south of Los Angeles. The salon is in the 500 block of Pacific Coast Highway.

"Our officers arrived on scene and found multiple gunshot victims inside of the salon," Sgt. Steve Bowles of the Seal Beach Police Department told reporters Wednesday evening. "Other responding officers who arrived saw ... what they thought was a suspect vehicle leaving the area and made a car stop on that vehicle, and took that suspect into custody."

Bowles said the salon was busy at the time of the shooting, with every station occupied. He said it appeared that the victims were seeking shelter when they were shot. Some of the people inside managed to escape unharmed.

The 911 call came from outside of the business.

Dekraai was taken into custody a half-mile from the crime scene. Police said he was driving through a residential area in the direction of Huntington Beach, Calif.

"They had him by the shirt, and when they pulled the shirt up, they realized he had a bullet proof vest, they took that off and by that time they already had him handcuffed," said Tom Windham, who witnessed the arrest.

Police said Dekraai was cooperative at the time of the arrest and was taken to the Seal County Police Department.

Police cordoned off the light blue bungalow in nearby Huntington Beach, Dekraai's home for the past two years. Neighbors told reporters they often saw him out in the yard playing catch with his son.

"Seal Beach is a small safe community. We don't experience these things," Bowles said.

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