7 dead, 3 hurt in Christian school shooting

  • Mon Apr 2nd, 2012 8:50pm
  • News

By Terry Collins Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. — A 43-year-old former student of a small Christian university opened fire at the school, killing at least seven people and setting off a chaotic manhunt that ended with his capture at a nearby shopping center, officials said.

Police Chief Howard Jordan said One L. Goh is in custody after he surrendered about an hour after the shooting at Oikos University, which also wounded three. “It’s going to take us a few days to put the pieces together,” Jordan said. “We do not have a motive.”

Jordan said there were about 35 people in or near the building when gunfire broke out Monday morning. Of the seven fatalities, five died at the scene and another two at the hospital. Three wounded victims are in stable condition, he said.

“This unprecedented tragedy was shocking and senseless,” Jordan said.

Soon after the shooting, heavily armed officers swarmed the school in a large industrial park near the Oakland airport and, for at least an hour, believed the gunman could still be inside.

Art Richards said he was driving by the university when he spotted a woman hiding in the bushes and pulled over. When he approached her, she said, “I’m shot.”

“She had a piece of her arm hanging out,” Richards said, noting that she was wounded near the elbow.

As police arrived, Richards said he heard 10 gunshots coming from inside the building. The woman told him the gunman shot one person point-blank in the chest and one in the head.

Tashi Wangchuk, whose wife attended the school and witnessed the shooting, said he was told by police that the gunman first shot a woman at the front desk, then continued shooting randomly in classrooms.

Wangchuk said his wife, Dechen Wangzom, was in her vocational nursing class when she heard gunshots. She locked the door and turned off the lights, Wangchuk said he was told by his wife.

The gunman “banged on the door several times and started shooting outside and left,” he said. Wangchuk said no one was hurt inside his wife’s classroom, but that the gunman shot out the glass in the door. He said she did not know the man.

“She’s a hero,” he said.

Myung Soon Ma, the school’s secretary, said she could not provide any details about what happened at the private school, which serves the Korean community with courses from theology to Asian medicine.

“I feel really sad, so I cannot talk right now,” she said, speaking from her home.

Those connected to the school, including the founder and several students, described the gunman as a former nursing student. The chief said Goh is a Korean national who is a former student of the university.

Pastor Jong Kim, who founded the school about 10 years ago, told the newspaper that he did not know if the shooter was expelled or dropped out.

Jerry Sung, the university’s accountant, said the school offers courses in both Korean and English to less than 100 students. He said the campus consisted of one building. Sung said many of its students went on to work in nursing and ministry.