A shooting rampage that left eight people dead at a Seal Beach beauty salon last year was so emotionally wrenching to residents in the small beach town that prosecutors say they'll use that as part of their argument that the accused killer deserves the death penalty.
In court papers filed this week, prosecutors said that if former tugboat crewman Scott Dekraai is convicted in the slayings, they will present victim impact evidence on behalf of the entire city to show that the midday shooting had a lasting effect on the tight-knit community.
Assistant Dist. Atty. Dan Wagner said in court filings that Dekraai, 42, exhibited a "high degree of cruelty, viciousness and callousness," when he allegedly walked into Salon Meritage and shot and killed his ex-wife and seven others. He is also accused of wounding a ninth person.
Dekraai has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.
Wagner said in the document that the victims were "particularly vulnerable" when they were shot "execution-style" at close range. The shooting, the prosecutor said, was carried out with "planning, sophistication and professionalism" by Dekraai, who wore a bulletproof vest during the rampage.