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Mourners hurl abuse as dad accused of salon massacre faces court

The man accused of a deadly shooting rampage at a Southern California hairdressing salon in which eight people died faced screaming relatives of the victims at a court appearance.

The angry friends and relatives hurled insults at Scott Dekraai (41) when he appeared briefly in court in Santa Ana yesterday. One person shouted: "I hate you."

Prosecutors, who are calling for the death penalty, said Dekraai, in a rampage that lasted two minutes, killed his ex-wife and seven others, shooting his victims in the head and chest, at the salon in Seal Beach on Wednesday.

The only survivor was Harriet Stretz (73) who is in a critical condition in hospital.

Prosecutors said Dekraai wanted revenge against his ex-wife Michelle Fournier, with whom he fought over custody of their son, who friends said the former tugboat operator doted on.

Dekraai wrapped himself in body armour and armed himself with three handguns before bursting into the salon where Ms Fournier worked, as their eight-year-old son waited miles away at his school for one of them to pick him up.

The boy learned of the shootings at the school, said Orange County district attorney Tony Rackackaus, wiping away a tear at a news conference yesterday.

"That little boy's a victim," Mr Rackackaus said. "Now his mother has been murdered and he has to grow up knowing that his dad is a mass-murderer. So what kind of sick, twisted fatherly love might that be?"

Of his decision to seek the death penalty, Mr Rackackaus said: "There are some cases that are so depraved, so callous and so malignant that there is only one punishment that might have any chance of fitting the crime."

Judge Erick Larsh ordered a medical review after Dekraai's lawyer said he was not receiving his needed anti-psychotic medication while in custody.

hnews@herald.ie