On October 12th, 2011, it was a nice autumn Wednesday. As the sun shone – a lone gunman, a crazed bi-polar gunman, walked into a beauty salon in Seal Beach, California with a mission to kill his ex-wife. He succeeded. He also killed 6 people in the salon with her and another man waiting outside in his car. He killed the salon owner, then aimed and shot his ex-wife (Michelle Fournier) three times. According to some 911 calls, after he had been shooting for about two minutes straight, he stopped, reloaded, and continued his rampage. I read in news accounts that people were either hiding or they were killed.
This town is a nice, quiet place. The salon was the kind of establishment where you would stay and have coffee when your hair was done. People knew each other, and would not expect such a tragedy – ever.
My heart goes out to the victims of the Seal Beach, California shooting. Especially the youngest victim, the 8 year old son of the shooter and Michelle Fournier. Yes, the 8 year old who’s dad, Scott Dekraai decided he would take his mom away from him forever. And, by making that decision, also made sure he would not be around to care for the boy either – you can’t raise a son from death row. This young child will have to grow up with the knowledge that his mother was ripped from him at this tender age and with the knowledge that his father is the one who made that decision. I only pray that he has loving family members who will wrap him in their arms and love him for all he is worth.
Why did this happen? Could it have been prevented? We will never know, it is too late. There were signs of instability. Scott Dekraai had assaulted both his wife and his step father in the past. In the days before the shooting he had even seriously threatened Michelle. She had told her friends at the salon. But, lets be real: How many times have you heard a friend or a friend of a friend’s story that is like this one? Divorces are messy, rough, mean, hurtful – especially when kids are involved. They almost never end in 8 innocent people taken in a murderous scene. We cannot know for certain when or if an unhappy person will flip that switch a become a cold blooded killer.
The only thing I can see that may have had a chance of saving some of the lives (probably not all of them) is if someone had been armed and trained to shoot their weapon. What if a couple of the girls had loaded weapons in their drawer beside their combs? What if the girls got together on Sunday afternoons and went to the range and helped each other learn to shoot and made practicing fun. What if they discussed survival and self defense one hour a week before the salon opened? What if they discussed possible worse case scenarios and what they would do in the event of, let’s say, a robbery? Heck, even if the person carrying had been someone on the street outside.
Dekraai entered the salon motivated by revenge, wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying three guns. He shot at his unarmed victims for two minutes straight and even stopped to reload during the spree and continued gunning people down.
Scott Dekraai shot for a lengthy amount of time. If only one person had been saved, it would have been better than the reality.
Each one of the victims had children, spouses, mothers, people who’s lives are forever impacted. This event will exponentially affect the entire community.