SEAL BEACH — A gunman opened fire in a hair salon Wednesday afternoon, killing eight people in what authorities are calling the deadliest rampage in modern Orange County history.
The shooting about 1:30 p.m. in the normally placid O.C. beach town near the Los Angeles County line eclipsed even the 1976 mass murder of seven people at Cal State Fullerton. It was immediately unclear whether any of the victims were from Newport Beach or Costa Mesa, but the shooting reverberated in the Newport-Mesa community.
"This could be one of our greatest tragedies," said Seal Beach police Sgt. Steve Bowles.
The death toll could grow. As of Wednesday evening, a ninth victim clung to life at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, authorities said.
Police have identified Huntington Beach resident Scott Dekraai as the lone suspect in the case.
The incident apparently happened quickly and without warning.
The suspected gunman opened fire inside the crowded Salon Meritage, littering the Pacific Coast Highway shop with bodies.