Around the Nation
Tue April 3, 2012
Shooter At Oakland School Targeted Administrator
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
We have an update now on yesterday's shooting at a small Christian college in Oakland, California. Seven people were killed and three wounded in the attacks. And we're learning more about the alleged gunman. Police say he was a former student at the school who was expelled several weeks ago.
NPR's Richard Gonzales reports.
RICHARD GONZALES, BYLINE: Oakland police say the alleged shooter, 43-year-old One L. Goh, entered Oikos University around 10:30 yesterday morning and took the receptionist as a hostage. He then entered a classroom, ordered the students to line up in a row and then he shot them. Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan.
HOWARD JORDAN: We do know that he was upset with several students here because of the way he was treated, when he was enrolled here two months ago. We don't have any further details about his exact motivation. But that's the information that we've received from witnesses and the suspect himself.
GONZALES: Jordan said that the suspect was resentful because other students had mocked his poor English skills. And that he was targeting a school administrator who was not at work yesterday.
After shooting his former classmates, Goh went outside briefly before returning inside to shoot other victims at random. Chief Jordan says preliminary ballistics tests indicate that Goh used a semi-automatic handgun believed to have been purchased legally in February.
The suspect fled the scene by commandeering a car of one of his victims. He went to a grocery store in nearby Alameda, California, where he told store employees: I just shot some people. He also called his father who arranged for his son to surrender to police without incident.
Chief Jordan says interviews with the suspect are being conducted in Korean and English.
JORDAN: In terms of the suspect's cooperation, I'm told that he's being very cooperative with us. He has not been particularly remorseful, but very cooperative with us.
GONZALES: Jordan says Goh has no criminal history. There are reports that he does have a history of financial problems when he lived in Virginia half a dozen years ago. He is also known to have lost his mother and brother recently. They died in separate incidents last year.
Oikos University is primarily a Korean Christian school offering courses from nursing and Asian medicine, to music and Bible studies. However, it is also a magnet for other immigrants. The victims are from Korea, Nigeria, Nepal, and the Philippines.
In a news conference last night, Mayor Jean Quan, surrounded by local religious leaders, called the shootings a terrible tragedy.
MAYOR JEAN QUAN: No American mayor wants to have this situation. It seems that over the last decade, we've gotten used to seeing senseless mass killings like this. And we'll have to question the availability of guns and the need for other services in our community.
GONZALES: A memorial for the victims is scheduled for tonight at Allen Temple Baptist Church, one of Oakland's most prominent African-American churches.
Richard Gonzales, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.