Portraits of the Seal Beach salon shooting victims

They were expert stylists, artists and athletes. Devoted mothers and fathers, and outdoors enthusiasts too.

Six women and two men were shot to death Wednesday in Seal Beach when, authorities say, Scott Dekraai opened fire at Salon Meritage, killing five employees, two customers and a man parked outside. It was the deadliest shooting in Orange County history.

Friends, family members and clients offered these portraits of the victims.

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“She really managed to have a cheerful demeanor with people.”

Michelle Marie Fournier

Stylist at Salon Meritage

Age: 48

Los Alamitos

Michelle Marie Fournier’s calling was cutting and styling hair.

But her priority in life was her 8-year-old son, friends and family said.

A stylist at Salon Meritage, Fournier, 48, was in a protracted custody battle with the boy’s father, her ex-husband Scott Dekraai. The couple had argued on the phone Wednesday morning, prosecutors said, and the boy was in the office of his school’s principal waiting to be picked up when his father burst into the salon, sought out Fournier and shot her at close range.

The oldest of four children in a half-Italian family from Boston, “she cooked a mean meatball” and had a fondness for black shoes, her brother Butch Fournier said. She had two children from a previous marriage, both in their 20s, and kept her Los Alamitos home tidy and her attitude upbeat.

“For as much stuff as was going on in her world with this person, she really managed to have a cheerful demeanor with people,” said Sylvia Harvey, a 10-year customer and friend.

Buzzo and her husband “had everything in common.”

Victoria Ann Buzzo

Stylist at Salon Meritage

Age: 54

Laguna Beach

Victoria Ann Buzzo was married to her high school sweetheart.

The 54-year-old stylist was a happy, bubbly person who loved swimming, skiing and sports, and lived in Laguna Beach with her husband, David. They had been married for more than 30 years.

“They had everything in common,” her mother, Ann Li Mandri, told the Orange County Register.

A leader who was always at “the front of the pack.”

David Caouette

Was parked outside salon

Age: 64

Seal Beach

David Caouette, was a retired Land Rover salesman and skilled off-roader.

The 64-year-old from Seal Beach was shot as he sat in the driver’s seat of his customized Land Rover parked outside the salon, authorities said.

After retiring, he kept in touch with a group of former co-workers who met for weekend off-road trips to Big Bear and the desert, longtime friend Ed Testa told the Orange County Register. Caouette was always the leader, the guy at “the front of the pack.”

“Full of compassion and young at heart. Always giving, giving, giving.”

Laura Lee Elody

Stylist at Salon Meritage

Age: 46

Huntington Beach

Laura Lee Elody, 46, of Huntington Beach was a stylist and newlywed who enjoyed movies and riding motorcycles. She was also known as Laura Webb.

Her mother, Hattie Stretz, 73, was visiting her at the salon and was the lone shooting victim to survive.

Lina Lumme, executive director of Los Alamitos Youth Center, said the family was well-known for its involvement in the nonprofit. “These are truly wonderful people, full of compassion and young at heart. Always giving, giving, giving.”

Loved travel and full-bodied wines.

Randy Lee Fannin

Operating partner of Salon Meritage

Age: 62


Randy Lee Fannin, 62, loved travel and full-bodied wines, a passion reflected in the slogan of Salon Meritage: “a fine blend of hair, skin and nails.”

He and his wife, Sandy, worked as partners operating the salon; “a tag team sitting back-to-back,” said Judy Rodriguez Watson, co-owner of the shopping center where the killings occurred. “It was just very obvious how in love they were,” longtime client Leanne Crawford said.

The couple lived near a golf course in Murrieta and had a time-share in Hawaii. Fannin’s charm turned salon clients into regulars and then friends. They would sometimes bring him bottles of wine as gifts.

He was behind the stylist’s chair Wednesday afternoon when the gunman stormed in.

“She really felt like a second mother to us.”

Michele Daschbach Fast

Salon customer

Age: 47

Seal Beach

Michele Daschbach Fast, 47, of Seal Beach, a customer at the salon, helped on her daughter’s soccer team, which was managed by her husband, Patrick.

Players with the Beach Futbol Club turned out for a vigil Thursday in their yellow soccer jerseys to remember her.

“She really felt like a second mother to us," said Kirsten Buono, 15.

“She always had time, always had a smile on her face.”

Lucia Bernice Kondas

Salon customer

Age: 65

Huntington Harbour

Lucia Bernice Kondas, 65, a client at the salon, was a retired healthcare supervisor who lived with her husband, Michael, in a gated community near the water in Huntington Harbour.

She worked for the Orange County Health Care Agency’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services program before retiring in 2000. Agency officials called her an “intelligent, generous and compassionate individual who will be missed by many.”

Neighbor Bill Trujillo said he saw her four or five times a week walking her dog. “She always had time, always had a smile on her face,” he said.

Wilson “was everybody’s friend. She had not one enemy, ever.”

Christy Lynn Wilson

Stylist at Salon Meritage

Age: 47


Christy Lynn Wilson, 47, was known for her creativity and her love of her close-knit family.

An accomplished nail artist, she was a stylist at the salon. She like ocean paddleboarding and made jewelry in her free time.

Wilson was one of Michelle Fournier’s close friends and had reportedly testified at a custody hearing on her behalf.

A Lakewood resident and mother of three, Wilson “was everybody’s friend. She had not one enemy, ever,” said Linda Stewart, a longtime friend who is considering starting a jewelry line in Wilson’s memory.

Los Angeles Times staff writers Ricardo Lopez, Michael Miller, Louis Sahagun, Nicole Santa Cruz and Abby Sewell contributed to this report.