Eight dead, 1 wounded in California salon shooting

SEAL BEACH, Calif.,  (Reuters) – A gunman opened fire  at a busy hair salon in the Southern California coastal town of  Seal Beach yesterday, killing eight people and critically  wounding another, police said.

The suspect, who was not immediately identified, fled the  scene in a vehicle and was arrested moments later about a half  mile away, Seal Beach police Sergeant Steve Bowles told  reporters nearly two hours after the shooting.
“We feel very confident at this point that we do have the  single and only suspect in custody,” Bowles said. “He appeared  cooperative and did not resist our officers at all when he was  detained.” “For the city of Seal Beach, this could be one of our  greatest tragedies,” Bowles said of the town about 30 miles (48  km) southeast of Los Angeles.      Circumstances of the shooting remained murky, and Bowles  said detectives were trying to establish a motive for the  violence and any link between the gunman and the establishment,  called the Salon Meritage.

He said the type of weapon or weapons used by the gunman was  not immediately known.

Former salon employee Lidia Sosa, who went to the crime  scene when she heard the news, told reporters the gunman shot  and killed his ex-wife, with whom he was embroiled in a custody  dispute. The owner of the shopping center, Henry Morales, said  he was told by salon employees that the gunman was the former  husband of a hair stylist there.

A longtime customer who identified herself only as Karen  said she heard about the shooting and called her stylist, who  answered the phone in a state of panic.“He was screaming, and the phone went dead. He was  hysterical,” she said.

Of the nine people struck by gunfire, six were declared  dead at the scene and three others were taken to Long Beach  Memorial Hospital with critical injuries, Bowles said. Two of  those hospitalized died later of their wounds, he said.

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