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Carnage In Oakland: ‘People Started Running, And He Started Shooting’

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
April 3, 2012

Survivors are telling harrowing tales about what happened Monday morning at Oikos University in Oakland when a man who police say once attended the small Christian school allegedly ordered the dozen or so people in a classroom to line up against a wall, drew a handgun and started firing.

“The people started running, and he started shooting,” Gurpreet Sahota tells the Oakland Tribune about what his sister-in-law, 19-year-old nursing student Dawinder Kaur, said afterward. She was wounded in the arm.

At least seven people are dead. At least three others were wounded. Around 35 people were at the school at the time.

As KQED reports, “at a press conference, Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan confirmed Oakland resident, 43-year-old One Goh as the shooting suspect.”

The Tribune calls it “the Bay Area’s worst mass killing in almost 20 years.” It adds that:

“Police said the victims are six women and one man ranging in age from their 20s to 40s. The man was identified as Tshering Rinzing Bhutia, 38, of San Francisco, killed when the gunman stole his car outside the school Monday morning. Two of the women killed were 21-year-old student Lydia Sim and 24-year-old Kathleen Ping, authorities confirmed.”

One was arrested at a supermarket in Alameda. The San Francisco Chronicle says that “about an hour after the 10:30 a.m. attack, the suspect calmly walked into a grocery store 5 miles away in Alameda, went to the customer service counter and told employees, ‘I just shot some people.’ “

According to the Tribune, authorities say that after he opened fire in one classroom, the gunman “fired through another classroom’s locked door, but didn’t hit anyone there. Student Dechen Yangzom later was credited with having locked that other classroom’s door and turned off the lights as soon as she heard the first shots echoing from down the hall, very likely saving her own life and those of seven others inside.”

The Chronicle, which refers to her as Dechen Yangdon, reports she said “I heard our receptionist screaming, ‘Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, he’s got a gun!’ … After that, she just kept calling for, ‘Help, help, help!’ … But we were locked inside. We couldn’t help her.”

Oikos University, the Chronicle adds, primarily serve[s] Korean students from the East Bay. Its website boasts the ‘highest standard education with Christian values and inspiration.’ “

Oh, according to the newspaper, is a “former nursing student who … left behind a string of debts and minor traffic citations in his former home state of Virginia, where he was evicted from one apartment complex.”

Update at 8:15 a.m. ET. Suspect May Have Been Upset About Being Expelled.

Earlier, we noted that police hadn’t speculated yet about a motive. Now, according to CBS News, Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan says:

“Goh has told investigators he was expelled from the small, private Oikos University only a couple months ago, and his anger over that expulsion led him to return to the school on Monday with a loaded gun.

“According to Jordan, Goh says he came back to the Oikos campus with the intention of shooting the school administrator, but when he couldn’t find that individual, he opened fire essentially at anyone else he could find.”

[Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

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