Nightly News   |  October 14, 2011

Prosecutors to seek death penalty for Calif. gunman

Prosecutors in Southern California say they will seek the death penalty against the man charged with shooting nine people, killing eight, in a rampage at a beauty salon in the town of Seal Beach. NBC’s Kristen Dahlgren reports.

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BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: In Southern California tonight, prosecutors there are saying they will seek the death penalty against the man charged with shooting nine people, killing eight of them in a rampage at a salon in the seaside town of Seal Beach . NBC 's Kristen Dahlgren reports tonight on a case that has shocked the community and reduced the district attorney to tears when he went before cameras today.

Unidentified Man: Mr. Dekraai , what's your full name, sir?

Mr. SCOTT DEKRAAI: Scott Evans Dekraai.

KRISTEN DAHLGREN reporting: In an Orange County courtroom, 41-year-old Scott Dekraai sat quietly, a much different picture from what prosecutors say was his rage-filled killing spree.

Mr. TONY RACKAUCKAS (Orange County District Attorney): He was willing to end any life in his path, and he did.

DAHLGREN: An emotional district attorney says Dekraai was carrying three guns and seeking revenge.

Mr. RACKAUCKAS: He was not satisfied with murdering his intended target, his ex-wife. For almost two minutes, Dekraai shot victim after victim.

DAHLGREN: He was in a custody dispute with his ex-wife, one of the first to be shot, but not the last.

Mr. RACKAUCKAS: Dekraai callously snuffed them out like they were collateral damage. We will not forget any one of these people. Their lives matter.

DAHLGREN: Among the dead co-workers, a customer, a bystander and a stylist who was doing her mother's hair. That mother, 73-year-old Hattie Stretz , the only victim to survive, is now in critical condition.

DAHLGREN: At the scene of the rampage, the moments of terror have been replaced by tears. But in the midst of all of the grief here, the district attorney pointed out one more victim, the couple's eight-year-old son.

Mr. RACKAUCKAS: Now his mother has been murdered, and he has to grow up knowing that his dad is a mass murderer.

DAHLGREN: His father now faces the death penalty. Kristen Dahlgren, NBC News, Seal Beach , California.