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Seal Beach shooting survivor released from hospital

The lone survivor of the Seal Beach shooting that left eight people dead was released from the hospital Monday, officials said.

October 17, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The lone survivor of the Seal Beach salon shooting was released from the hospital Monday, officials said.

Harriet Stretz, 73, was at Salon Meritage on Wednesday when Scott Dekraai allegedly entered the salon and began shooting. Eight people were killed and Stretz was wounded. Officials from Long Beach Memorial Medical Center said Stretz had been released.

The Seal Beach Police Department released 911 tapes Monday, shedding new light on the frantic moments from the scene.

"I think a lot of people might have been killed or hurt," one woman caller said in a muffled voice from her hiding place in Salon Meritage's facial room last Wednesday.

"I got down and put my hands over my neck like an air raid drill and was just hoping he wasn't going to kill me," said another woman caller who was inside the salon but made it out to the parking lot.

In one 911 recording the caller can be heard asking someone else if the doors are locked. Cries and weeping can also be heard.

"And how many shots did you hear?" the emergency dispatcher asked.

"He's still shooting right now. He's still shooting right now," the caller said.

"OK. And how many shots have you heard," the dispatcher asked as someone interjected: "Oh my God."

The caller went on to say she heard 10 shots.

"We need somebody here, like, right now," the caller demanded.

"Do we know who the shooter is?" the dispatcher repeated.

"We think we do," the caller answered. "It's one of the hairstylist's husbands. We think we do but I don't know because the girl that came in here is just hysterical."

The community is still struggling to come to grips with the tragedy. People continued to stop by the large, makeshift memorial outside the salon. On Sunday, church services were dedicated to the victims and their families.

Dave Caouette was one of the eight who died that day. He was shot in the head while sitting in his beloved Land Rover in the parking lot of his favorite restaurant, Patty's Place.

Caouette, an avid off-roader, worked at the Land Rover dealership in Mission Viejo years ago but kept in touch with several friends he met at the dealership and in weekend off-road events.

"He was just a giver, a family man, a man that led by example," said Dave Guzman, Caouette's friend. "This is a guy who would give you the shirt off his back."

The 64 year old grandfather was the father of three grown children.

A memorial service for Caouette was held at Patty's on Monday.

His son's friends traveled from Central California to attend the memorial service. They said it was important to be there to support Caouette's family.

"He was a person everybody followed," said Ed Testa, a friend of Caouette. "Everybody was behind him. All of our pictures, he was the car in front. He led us."

Dekraai's ex-wife Michelle Fournier, salon owner Randy Lee Fannin, Laura Lee Elody, Christy Lynn Wilson, Victoria Ann Buzzo, Michele Daschbach Fast and Lucia Bernice Kondas were also killed in the shooting.

Dekraai and Fournier were involved in a bitter custody battle over their 8-year-old son.

Orange County prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty against 41-year-old Dekraai.

A community comes together

The Seal Beach Pavilions and Los Alamitos Vons raised more than $33,000 in donations over the weekend. On top of that, Vons donated $25,000 more to the fund.

At Mother's Tavern in Sunset Beach, more than $17,000 was raised through two events put on by the restaurant over the weekend, as well as from T-shirts sold outside by another group.

The Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce had received more than $2,000 by Monday afternoon, with more donated directly to the Bank of America account they set up as a fund.

Casa Garcia restaurant in Anaheim had collected more than $500 as of 3:30 p.m. Monday. Anyone who makes a donation at the restaurant receives a plate of food. It was scheduled to go until 8 p.m. Monday and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Other events were also held Sunday. A Balance Tai Qi Qong class was held as a memorial and fundraiser for the families. Blend Hair Salon in Los Alamitos planned to give all proceeds from Sunday morning to afternoon to support the victims.

How to help

The Fannin family established a memorial fund to benefit all the families of those killed in the shooting. Supporters can donate online at www.salonmeritagefund.org.

The city of Seal Beach, the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce and Watson & Associates announced the establishment of the Seal Beach Victims' Fund account at the Bank of America at 208 Main St. in Seal Beach. Donations may be mailed or delivered to the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce or the Bank of America with checks made payable to the Seal Beach Victims' Fund. Credit cards will also be accepted.

Additionally, those wishing to host a fundraiser, special event or related activity are encouraged to do so in coordination with the Chamber of Commerce, which is functioning as a clearinghouse for all such events.

See photos from the scene of the Seal Beach shooting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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