Thursday, April 19, 2018

7 are killed by gunman at religious college in Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. — A gunman opened fire on students and staff at a religious college here Monday morning, killing seven people and wounding at least three more, the authorities said.

Shortly after the shootings, the suspect, identified as One Goh, 43, of Oakland was taken into custody outside a Safeway grocery in nearby Alameda, several miles from the scene of the attack. Little else was known about his background or his motives.

The shooting occurred around 10:30 a.m. at Oikos University, a Christian college affiliated with a Korean-American church, Praise to God Korean Church, and located in a commercial and industrial area of East Oakland near Oakland International Airport where there are many Korean-American businesses.

Johnna Watson, a spokeswoman for the Oakland Police Department, said at a news conference Monday night that Goh had acted alone. He had been a nursing student at the college but was not enrolled at the time of the shooting, the university's founder, pastor Jong Kim, told the Oakland Tribune.

Jean Quan, the Oakland mayor, appearing at the news conference with the police and a representative of the Korean Consulate General, said most of the victims were Korean.

The police received word of the shootings at 10:30 a.m., said Officer Kevin McDonald, a spokesman for the Oakland Police Department.

Tashi Wangchuk, 38, a videographer from Richmond, Calif., said he went to the college after he got a call from his wife, Dechen, a nursing student at Oikos.

"My wife called and said, in a hushed voice, 'Call 911. There's a shooting going on in here,' " he said. "She told me someone came in with a gun and started shooting randomly."

Wangchuk's wife, who was crouching inside a classroom with other students, said the gunman shot through the door of the classroom before leaving the scene, her husband said. On Monday afternoon, she was still being held inside the university as the police locked down the area around the small college.

Relatives clustered outside the college along a grassy median and tried to get word from the authorities about when their children, or spouses, would be released. What appeared to be four bodies were laid out, under sheets, on the median. The wounded had been taken away in ambulances.

Larry Reid, who is president of the Oakland City Council and represents the district where the shooting occurred, said there was one gunman.

"It's just a sad day in my city whenever there's a loss of life," Reid said. "There are just too many guns in the hands of people who are not afraid to use them."

Gov. Jerry Brown, a former Oakland mayor, said in a statement: "The tragic loss of life at Oikos University today is shocking and sad. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their families and friends and the entire community affected by this senseless act of violence."

The college's website says, "Oikos University was launched to provide highest standard education with Christian value and inspiration." Oikos offers courses in music, nursing, English, Bible studies and other subjects. It caters largely to Korean and Korean-American students.

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