Witness says box exploded when California blast victim opened it
The explosion Tuesday at Ildiko Krajnyak's day spa blew out walls and windows of the facility, heavily damaging the business, which was on the first floor of a two-story medical office building in Aliso Viejo, about 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles, according to Orange County officials.
The blast injured three women, including two patrons of the day spa.
The two patrons had just finished their spa treatments when they approached the front counter to pay, according to a federal affidavit. One victim said she noticed lots of mail piled up on the floor, along with three to four brown cardboard boxes, the affidavit said.
Krajnyak picked up one of the boxes and placed it on the counter, according to court documents.
"As soon as Krajnyak opened the box, Victim 2 stated that the box exploded and recalled being blown backwards by the explosion onto the floor," the affidavit said.
At the scene, investigators also discovered melted material that appeared to be duct tape, the affidavit said.
Krajnyak's business partner and ex-boyfriend, Stephen Beal, 59, was charged Thursday with one count of possession of an unregistered destructive device, according to a federal criminal complaint.
Federal authorities said investigators found a "destructive device" at Beal's Long Beach residence, but he has not been charged in connection with the blast.
Beal's detention hearing, scheduled for Thursday afternoon, was continued until Monday, and he will remain in custody until at least that time, according to Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the United States Attorney's Office in Los Angeles.
Beal was not asked to enter a plea on Thursday, nor will he be asked to enter a plea on Monday, Mrozek said.
Beal's attorney couldn't be reached on Thursday.
Court papers: Victim's ex-boyfriend contacted authorities after blast
Beal's girlfriend saw the news report of the explosion and encouraged him to contact the Orange County Sheriff's Department because she knew he leased space in the medical office building, and that Krajnyak was his ex-girlfriend and business partner, the affidavit said.
About two hours after the blast, Beal contacted the sheriff's department. Sheriff's deputies went to Beal's Long Beach residence and he gave them consent to search his home, the affidavit said.
Inside, investigators say they found items including a seven-foot tall rocket, rocket-making equipment, and at least three containers of black powder, according to court papers.
Investigators also found two improvised explosive devices and three firearms in Beal's home, as well as "precursor chemicals, energetic materials, e-matches, variously sized cardboard and modified rocket tubes," the affidavit said.
Beal told investigators he is a model rocket hobbyist, but hadn't touched the rocket-making equipment on his property in 14 years.
Beal also told investigators he had ordered the precursors and accelerants from the internet between the late 1990s and 2004. He also made fireworks, including mortars, from the late 1990s until September 11, 2001, but stopped making fireworks "because he did not want to give the wrong impression," the affidavit said.
According to court papers, "Beal said he saw media coverage of the explosion and claimed he did not have material to create an explosion that large."
In amended court records, authorities said the items recovered from Beal's home are "not consistent with that of a model rocket."
Beal also told the FBI he and Krajnyak met approximately 1½ years ago through an online dating app and began dating, the affidavit said. The two opened the day spa shortly thereafter; the business later moved to the Aliso Viejo building.
The couple's personal relationship eventually "began to cool due to disputes over the exclusivity of the relationship and financial issues," Beal told federal agents, according to the affidavit.
The couple's personal relationship ended by February or March 2018, but they had remained business partners, according to Beal.
Beal told federal agents he paid the roughly $1,500 month in rent for the Aliso Viejo property and half of the spa's operating costs, according to court papers. Beal said he would have to lend Krajnyak money to cover all the expenses some months; other months she made enough to cover the costs, the affidavit said.
'It's just all so sudden'
California secretary of state documents indicate Beal is the secretary and chief financial officer of a company called I&S Enterprises. Krajnyak, of Trabuco Canyon, is listed as the CEO, and the address for the business is the same as that of the day spa rocked by the explosion.
Police had said Wednesday that the blast was not an accident. The two patrons of the day spa are expected to survive. A third woman suffered smoke inhalation and was treated and released at the scene.
"At this point, our working theory is that this explosion was caused by a device," said Paul Delacourt, assistant director in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles field office.
Police have not commented on a motive, and Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes said Wednesday investigators hadn't nailed one down, but an FBI spokesman ruled out terrorism. Nothing indicates any threats were made before the blast, Orange County Sheriff's Cmdr. Dave Sawyer said earlier.
In a brief interview Thursday with CNN affiliate KABC, Krajnyak' son, 20-year-old Keanu Vestil said he was grateful for outpouring of support.
"It's just all so sudden," he said. "A lot of this is still very raw, and still really hard to process for everybody."
The fate of the sheriff from the Parkland shooting lands in the Florida governor's lap
The Broward Sheriff's Office Deputies Association vote was 534-94, with union President Jeff Bell vowing to ask Scott to consider removing Israel and praising the "great courage" of members who voted "under threat of retaliation and reprisal."
"I cannot tell Gov. Scott how to do his job, but I'm asking him ... to re-evaluate the position of sheriff," Bell said. "If he feels that Sheriff Israel must be removed or suspended, we will fully support him in that decision."
Bell said it was the union's first vote of no confidence against a sheriff.
"He fails to listen to the people," he said of Israel. "He fails to listen to the membership and he wants to blame everybody else for his problems."
Israel said in a statement that he was accountable only to the citizens of the county.
"My job is to continue to do the job I was elected to do, which is to ensure the safety of Broward County's 1.9 million residents," the statement said. "I will not be distracted from my duties by this inconsequential IUPA union vote."
Israel accused the union of using the vote to "extort a 6.5% pay raise from this agency," a charge Bell denied.
"Those who purportedly voted in this straw ballot reflect only a small number of the 5,400 BSO employees," Israel said. "The unions representing the vast majority of our employees solidly support the leadership of this agency."
The announcement to hold a vote of no confidence was made Friday and the union cited "many instances of malfeasance ... and the lack of leadership" as reasons for Thursday's vote.
The union also said the sheriff's handling of the Parkland school shooting enraged the rank and file, including an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union" with Jake Tapper during which Israel boasted of his "amazing leadership."
At Scott's request, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting as well as the law enforcement response.
"Gov. Scott believes that people must be held accountable for the reported failures in response to the school shooting in Parkland, which is why he immediately called for a full and systematic FDLE investigation into the matter," spokesman John Tupps said in a statement.
"Once that investigation is complete, and we have all the facts, the appropriate steps will be taken to hold people accountable."
According to Florida statue, Scott has the power to suspend the sheriff for actions such as "misfeasance" and "neglect of duty" and may fill the office by appointment for the period of suspension. The actual power to remove the sheriff from office is in the hands of the state Senate.
CNN emails and calls for comment to the Florida Senate's Office of the President were not returned. According to the body's website, it makes "final dispositions" on whether to reinstate a suspended official or remove him from office.
Eleven days after the February 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran and 73 other Republican representatives sent a letter to Scott, asking him to suspend the sheriff for what they called his "incompetence and neglect of duty."
The lawmakers also cited the failure of Scott and his deputies to enter the school building to stop the shooter, and their failure to act on warning signs about the shooter for years.
"Gov. Scott is absolutely disgusted the BSO deputy did not rush into the school to save these victims," Tupps said in Thursday's statement.
Scott exercised his power to suspend a sheriff in 2016, after then-Marion County Sheriff Chris Blair was indicted on two counts of perjury. In that case, Scott appointed an interim sheriff.
Since the no confidence vote campaign against Israel started last week, two other unions -- The Federation Of Public Employees and Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #53 -- have written letters of support for the sheriff.
"As your largest union, we support you and have confidence in how you are running this large complex agency," said the letter from the public employees' union, which claims to represent 2,500 Broward Sheriff's Office employees.
While the no confidence vote against Israel is symbolic, Bell said it represents the collective voice of the rank and file deputies, and he plans to use that voice to pressure the governor to act.
Bell said Scott's failure to remove Israel would mean he "agrees the sheriff is an amazing leader."
Trauma surgeon in YouTube shooting vents his frustration over continuing gun violence
Those private conversations became public Tuesday.
Campbell, who helped treat victims injured in a shooting at the YouTube headquarters in California hours earlier, made pointed comments about gun violence in a press conference about victims of the shooting.
"To think that after we've seen Las Vegas, Parkland, the Pulse nightclub shooting, that we would see an end to this, but we have not," Campbell, an attending trauma surgeon at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, told reporters.
Three people suffered gunshot wounds in the shooting on the campus in San Bruno, California, south of San Francisco, according to San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini. One person injured her ankle, Barberini said. The female shooter died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, the chief said.
Campbell said gun violence is a problem that needs to be addressed. He also chided the media for not paying attention to other instances of gun violence.
"Gun violence happens every day throughout the United States. It happens here in San Francisco. It happens in the Bay Area. It happens all over the country," Campbell said. "But I don't see you guys out here because I'd like to make sure that people know that we got a serious problem that we need to address."
"I don't have all the answers ... at least we're having a discussion about it nationally," he said. "This is a real problem."
Hospital spokesman Brent Andrew said a 32-year-old woman was in serious condition, a 27-year-old woman was in fair condition and a 36-year-old man was in critical condition.
Campbell said the patients injured in the shooting at the YouTube headquarters suffered multiple injuries and were not in surgery at the moment.
"This is a terrible day in the United States," said Campbell, a professor of surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine.
Campbell said once again, the hospital -- the only level 1 trauma center in San Francisco -- was confronted with a mass casualty.
The hospital dealt with multiple shooting victims in each of the past two weeks, Campbell said. The incidents included a fatal shooting at a San Francisco barbershop.
"I didn't see all these cameras out here ... last week when I was here," he said.
"That's the problem, when something like this happens, which is terribly unfortunate, then you guys come out," Campbell said. "The reality is we have to deal with this all the time. We have to deal with the families."
Emergency medical providers generally define a mass casualty as an incident in which the number of casualties exceeds the resources available to deal with them.
The patients were awake and aware of what happened, Campbell said.
When asked if they said anything when they arrived at the hospital, Campbell said: "No, other than shocked like we are ... every time these terrible things happen."
In an interview with CNN, Campbell said he wanted to speak about an issue the gun violence in all communities.
"We kind of quietly do our job and we don't say a whole lot," he said. "But today just seemed like it was a day where people wanted to hear what was going on."
He added: "We as trauma providers, we are just saddened by the fact that this is persistent problem."
Campbell grew up in Queens, New York, at a time when the city struggled with gun violence.
His interest in the sciences led to him to study pre-med at Harvard University. He graduated in 1980.
Campbell earned a medical degree five years later from the University of California, San Francisco.
He returned to New York to work as a resident at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, where he often treated victims of gun violence.
"I felt that I'd be able to make a difference in people's lives becoming a trauma surgeon," he told CNN.
He hasn't treated victims of nation's mass shootings like colleagues in other hospitals, but he has seen his share of gunshot victims over the years.
At Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, he recalled seeing 10 to 15 gunshot victims often on weekends about a decade ago, he said.
"It happens with such regularity. It's unbelievable," he said of gun violence.
"We need to work together to find a solution," Campbell said.
Soon after he spoke to reporters, colleagues and doctors worldwide sent him warm text messages and emails.
"I just echoed what they feel," he said.