SEAL BEACH, Calif.–Gunfire erupted this afternoon at a hair salon in Seal Beach, leaving eight people dead, one critically wounded and the alleged gunman in custody, police said.

The shooting occurred about 1:20 p.m. at Salon Meritage, located in a shopping center at 500 Pacific Coast Highway.

Six people were found dead throughout the salon, Seal Beach police Sgt. Steve Bowles said.

Three other people–two men and a 73-year-old woman–were taken to Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, where two of them subsequently died, he said.

One of the officers who responded to the shots-fired call spotted the suspect leaving the parking lot, Bowles said. Within minutes, the unidentified man was arrested without incident about a half-mile from the salon, the sergeant said, describing the man as cooperative.

“We feel very confident we have the single and only suspect in custody,” Bowles said.

Bowles said investigators were working to determine a motive, and were unsure if the suspect had any connection to the salon.

A former salon employee, Lidia Sosa, told reporters that the suspect, who she identified as “Scott,” shot and killed his ex-wife. The two were embroiled in a custody battle, according to Sosa, who went to the crime scene when she heard the news.

Police could not immediately confirm that information.

The salon owner was among those killed in the attack, Sosa said.

“The only thing I can tell you is (he) is in heaven tonight,” she said.

Bowles said victims were found “throughout the entire salon,” and”there are survivors from inside the salon that escaped without harm.”

“It appears that the salon was busy at the time and it appears almost every hair station, if you will, was occupied,” he said.

One of the critically wounded survivors was found outside the salon in the parking lot, Bowles said, while the rest of the victims were located inside the business.

A weapon was recovered when the suspect was arrested, Bowles said, adding that the suspect apparently told the officers he had other weapons in his vehicle.

Anyone concerned that a loved one was shot was encouraged to call Seal Beach police at (562) 799-4100, Bowles said.

“Our primary mission now is to support these families,” he said.

Bowles noted that the city has logged multiple years of “zero homicides. So obviously this is an unusual and tragic situation,” he said.