A mourner places flowers at the site of a mass killing in Seal Beach that took place the day before on October 12, 2011. A stream of people stopped by throughout the day to grieve.
In grand jury transcripts unsealed on Thursday, a hairstylist says he ran to hide in a restroom after a man shot eight people inside and in the parking lot of the Salon Meritage in Seal Beach last October.
Prosecutors have since charged the alleged shooter, Scott Dekraai, with eight counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.
Hairstylist Gordon Gallego testified that he saw Scott Dekraai enter through a salon side entrance and walk up to his ex-wife, Michelle Fournier, as she washed another salon stylist’s hair.
Gallego says he then heard Dekraai blurt out, “This is what you wanted, how you wanted it" before he began shooting Fournier and stylist Christy Wilson.
Gallego grabbed co-worker Lisa Powers and ran to the employee restroom to avoid the gunfire, according to testimony.
From behind the closed door, he says he could hear “constant screaming and gunshots.” Then he heard co-worker Laura Elody slump against the other side of the restroom door, begging for her life.
Gallego says he could hear Elody crying, “ You don’t have to do this, please don’t kill me.”
“And then what happened?” asked Orange County Assistant DA Dan Wagner.
Gallego: “He shot her.”
After the gunshots, Gallego says that he “heard her take her last breath.”
He said that later, he had to push the door open and climb out over the body of his co-worker.
Gallego estimated that about three minutes elapsed from the first to the last shots that killed seven people in the salon. The gunman killed one other person in the parking lot.
The transcript is from January's Orange County grand jury proceedings.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for 42-year-old Scott Dekraai, who has pleaded not guilty.