Cell phone video shows the chaotic scene just after the plane crashed into an Orange County parking lot, smashing into a vehicle.
All five passengers aboard the small plane were killed on Sunday.
Hakimi's son, Navid Hakimi, and Shepherd's husband, Scott Shepherd, also died.
"I don't know what this pilot did or what he was thinking, but it could have been much more tragic", Orange County Fire Captain Tony Bommarito said. The plane crashed in the parking lot of a Staples office supply store in the 3800 block of Bristol Street.
The plane is registered to a San Francisco-based real estate consulting company, Category III, according to an FAA database.
Another was 29-year-old Nasim Ghanadan, who saw Hakimi as a mentor in the real estate industry, Ghanadan's brother said.
The FAA tweeted that a Cessna 414 declared an emergency landing and crashed in a mall parking lot near the John Wayne Orange County Airport. "But the owner of that auto was in the store shopping at the time", Bommarito says.
"We looked up to see the plane falling nose first", Ella Pham, 20, said to the outlet.
An earlier version of this article said that the plane crashed in the parking lot of South Coast Plaza.
Footage from the scene shows the wreckage of a twin-engine Cessna.
"It was so heartbreaking just seeing the plane crumbled into pieces", she said.
The plane was running on 100 octane gas, which spilled during the crash, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi said.
Investigators from the FAA and NTSB are trying to determine what caused the crash.