Salon Massacre, One Year Later
It’s been one year since a gunman killed eight people in a California hair salon, and INSIDE EDITION paid a visit to the newly remodeled salon and its surviving owner who’s trying to put her life back together.
Returning to work at a salon is one of the most difficult things Sandi Fannin has ever done because it is where her husband and seven others were massacred by a crazed gunman last year.
"It was really hard. I almost passed out," said Sandi.
Cops say the bloodbath began when Scott Dekraai, the ex-husband of one of the murdered hairdressers, snuck in a side door and started shooting. His arrest minutes later was caught on cell phone video.
The Meritage Salon in Seal Beach, California, is about to reopen for the first time since the tragedy, and it has been completely re-designed with lessons learned from the shootings.
INSIDE EDITION's Jim Moret paid a visit to the salon with Sandi and noticed, "And one thing you notice looking here you can see everything. That was by design wasn't it?"
"Yes, yes keep it all open," said Sandi.
The entire salon is open so you can see any suspicious characters coming and going. Even the shampoo sinks are designed so the stylist can see everything around them. The new larger windows were selected so hairdressers can easily see out to the parking lot.
The name of the salon may be the same, but everything inside has changed. The location of the walls, the furniture, the fixtures, it's all brand new. In fact, nothing that was in there on that horrible day is still there today.
It was just by chance that Sandi escaped death. She was in a back room mixing hair color when the gunman burst in shooting.
She is still mourning the death of her husband of 18 years, Randy. They owned the salon together.
Moret asked, "You decided to stay. You're going to work here. Is that as a tribute to your husband?"
"As a tribute to my husband and the other people who were killed," she replied.
The alleged gunman has pled not guilty. Sandi said she will be in the courtroom every day for his murder trial which begins in January.
Sandi says that making things more difficult is the fact that her own insurance company is refusing her business interruption claim because she waited too long to reopen the salon. The insurance company said they paid everything she's owed.
Sandi says she just wants to move on and put the tragedy behind her, saying, "I think it feels good. I think I'm ready. Ready to start over," said Sandi.
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