Neighbors remember slain stylist

When it came to her sports team, Laura Elody was one of the guys.

She bragged when the Raiders, Dodgers or Detroit Red Wings won, but she was lighthearted about it and would never put others' teams down, said her neighbor, Jason Pescevic.

"She was just always smiling and a welcoming person," Pescevic said.

Elody, 46, was shot to death while styling her mother's hair Oct. 12 at Salon Meritage in Seal Beach. Her mother, Harriet Stretz, 73, was also shot, but was recently released from the hospital. She is the lone survivor of the shooting.

Scott Evans Dekraai of Huntington Beach has been charged with murdering eight people and attempting to murder another. The Orange County district attorney is seeking the death penalty.

The sports fan's condo on a quiet street near Huntington Harbour could easily be picked out. A Raiders flag hangs over Elody's door.

When Gabriel Gonzalez and his girlfriend, Jennifer Kohatsu, heard that their neighbor was one of the victims of the shooting, Gonzalez said he felt sick to his stomach.

"She's just your average good and kindhearted person, and she was just killed by some crazy guy for no reason," he said. "I have no remorse for [Dekraai] and I hope the worst possible thing can happen to him."

Pescevic and his girlfriend, Kierney Ross, along with Gonzalez and Kohatsu, visited with Elody's husband, Ron, to give their condolences late last week.

The neighbors hung out at the Elodys' home, and just before the shooting, Ross said, they all talked about getting together soon and catching up.

Elody had just gotten married a few months ago to Ron, her boyfriend of many years, Ross said.

Ross said Ron has a lot of support from his family and friends.

"I just don't know what to say," she said. "There's the cliche that this should've never happened, but it did."

Twitter: @MonaShadia

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