Seal Beach Massacre: 'Uncountable' Gunshots, 1 Victim Begging for Life

"I heard her take her last breath," witness tells grand jury in newly released transcripts about the Salon Meritage slayings.

Moments after a shooting rampage inside the Seal Beach beauty salon where his ex-wife worked, a "very calm'' gunman shot his final victim in the parking lot before driving away, a witness to Orange County's worst mass killing told a grand jury, according to transcripts released Thursday.

Kenneth Caleb, a regular at Patty's Place restaurant next to Salon Meritage, stared through a ``chaotic scene'' last Oct. 12 to see Scott Evans Dekraai in the parking lot about 6 feet away.

``Everybody is running but this one gentleman, and at first when I looked at him, I thought he was a derelict and he just didn't understand what was going on, and he was putting himself in harm,'' Caleb told the grand jury in January.

``He had zero expression on his face,'' Caleb continued. ``He had [what] looked like a semi-limp as he walked. His shoulders were erect and square, with his face still kind of downward. Casual, calm stroll, as if you were just enjoying the park.''

After Dekraai allegedly shot David Caouette, 64, in a Range Rover parked outside the salon, the gunman got into his pickup truck and calmly started to drive away, according to Caleb, who said he was trying to jot down the license plate number.

At one point, Dekraai stopped the truck, ``and he looks back down the direction toward Salon Meritage and directly at me,'' Caleb testified. ``And at that point in time I panic, like, oh, I don't know what he is going to do, if he is going to fire another shot, so I kind of try to run toward a car for cover.''

Dekraai, however, slowly made a left turn out of the parking lot and drove away, Caleb testified.

Another witness, who worked as a hairstylist at the salon for 12 years, told the 17 grand jury members how he saw Dekraai enter the business and gun down ex-wife Michelle Founier as she was shampooing the hair of a client, Christy Wilson.

``I heard him blurt out, `This is what you wanted,' or 'this is how you wanted it,' and started shooting both girls,'' Gordon Gallego testified.

When asked how many gunshots he heard, he replied, ``uncountable.''

Gallego testified that he ``grabbed another co-worker and ran to the back employee bathroom.''

As Gallego and co-worker Lisa Powers took refuge in the darkened bathroom, he heard another victim, Laura Elody, try to seek haven in the ``facial room'' by banging on the door.

``I heard her stop banging on the door and lean up against the bathroom door,'' Gallego testified. ``Obviously, Scott followed her into there, and she begged him not to shoot her.''

Prosecutor Dan Wagner asked him what he heard her say.

``You don't have to do this. Please don't kill me,'' Gallego responded.

He said he then he heard Elody being shot.

``I heard her take her last breath,'' he testified.

After that, there was silence for about a minute before he heard gunfire in the parking lot, Gallego testified.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals last month ordered the release of most of the grand jury transcripts that led to the indictment. Goethals decided to keep 29 pages of the transcripts sealed, as well as some other legal filings in the case against Dekraai, who faces the death penalty if convicted.

Deputy Public Defenders Scott Sanders and Martin Schwarz had asked the judge to seal all of the grand jury transcripts as well as exhibits in the case. Attorney Ashley Kissinger, representing the Orange County Register, argued for release of all the grand jury material.

Dekraai is due back in court Aug. 10 for a pretrial hearing. His trial is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 15.

Dekraai is charged with eight counts of murder, with a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders, and one count of attempted murder involving a woman who was shot at Salon Meritage, but survived.

Dekraai is accused of walking into the salon and gunning down his 48-year-old ex-wife, with whom he had been involved in a bitter child custody battle, before opening fire on others inside the business, including Wilson, 47, and Elody, 46.

Also killed were the salon's owner, Randy Lee Fannin, 62; Victoria Ann Buzzo, 54; Lucia Bernice Kondas, 65; Michele Daschbach Fast, 47; and David Caouette, 64. Hattie Stretz, 73, survived her injuries.

- City News Service

Dr. Zillman May 05, 2012 at 02:58 AM
“Seal Beach Massacre Shooter Scott Evans Dekraai Dead” Now that is a headline. +2!
Dr. Artour Rakhimov May 06, 2012 at 01:10 PM
RE: Terrorism alert: KGB total mind control technique State and national security officials continue to ignore/hide the real causes of most massacres and still provide grounds for potential terrorists who can commit similar crimes as the recent massacre in Afghanistan, or 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, or this Salon massacre. This is because some part of Russian KGB (not Moscow or Putin) uses a mind control technique that requires only a few hours and leads to total mind control. After GULAG KGB mind control application, nearly all people can kill themselves, their children, parents, best friends, and many others. The technique was developed and tested in largest world’s mind control labs: KGB GULAG labor camps where over 10 million perished. I repeat this total mind control technique requires only a few hours of intimacy. This can be easily achieved due to, for example, prevalent promiscuity and lack of public awareness about this method and KGB people who use such mind control. Note that such crimes are nearly impossible to prove, since the brainwashed people either kill themselves or, if they survive, will say only those things that were ordered them to say, although there are physiological changes (like only about 2 hours of natural sleep) that can be used to identify zombies. Artour Rakhimov, PhD
John B. Greet May 06, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Bottom line: Mature and intelligent adults must ultimately take responsibility for the news they choose to expose themselves to and from what sources. If a person doesn't like the style or manner in which a given news source delivers the news, he or she is entirely free to not expose him/herself to that source. Ranting about these styles and manners isn't likely to change them or any other editorial policies so I believe the best way to prevent one's discomfiture in such areas is to take more personal responsibility for the choices one makes.
Singular May 06, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Jim and Steve... so correct! Can't wait to see that headline myself, Kristy & Michelle were two very special women as were the others who lost their life that day along with two brave men! Unless you live under a rock the title was not misleading... and yes everything is a new breaking story!
Singular May 06, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Uncheck the box for email from now on.. problem solved! Get some cheese with that "whine"... and start thinking of those killed.. .this news is important....transripts not allowed... considering there could be pivitol evidence that will prove he was not brain washed but had good intent prior and knew what he was in for when he walked into that salon that very day in Oct. I would imagine if those transcripts got out that would not only help the defense but assist in pursuading juriors if put in the wrong hands.


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