The New York Times reports that 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 situated in a commercial and industrial area of East Oakland near Oakland International Airport where there are many Korean-American businesses.
Police first received a 911 call at 10:33 a.m. reporting a woman on the ground bleeding. As more calls came in from the school, the first arriving officer found a victim suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound, Police Chief Howard Jordan said. “Today’s unprecedented tragedy was shocking and senseless,” he said.
The suspect was named by police as One Goh, a former student at Oikos, which has links to the Korean-American Christian community, writes Reuters.
The man was described by the police as both a Korean national and a naturalized American citizen from Korea. They said they believed he used a handgun and acted alone.
Police did not immediately found a motive for the rampage — which came just over a month after a student gunman in Ohio opened fire in a high school cafeteria, killing three students. It was not immediately clear why Goh had left the school.
Mr. Goh 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.
When police officers arrived at the scene they formed a perimeter around the school on the belief that the suspect was still inside, Jorday said according to The Huff Post.
“Potential victims remained inside the building either trapped by a locked door which officers were unable to open,” Jordan said. Others were unable to flee because they were injured, he said.
Witnesses told thw police that the gunman entered a reception area of the college at mid-morning and opened fire before walking into one of two classes in session and spraying the room with bullets.
Paul Singh, whose 19-year-old sister Devinder Kaur was shot in the arm during Monday’s rampage, told Reuters the man was a former student who showed up to class for the first time in four months.
“‘Get in line and I’m going to kill you all,’ is what he said this morning, my sister told me. They thought he was joking at first,'” Singh said.
Tashi Wangchuk, 38, said he had gone to the college after getting 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.”
Oakland police spokesman Johnna Watson announced that at least seven people had been killed and three others wounded.
It was the deadliest outburst of gun violence at a U.S. school since a Virginia Tech student shot and killed 32 people in a 2007 massacre on that campus before killing himself.
“The tragic loss of life at Oikos University today is shocking and sad,” California Governor Jerry Brown said in a statement released through his office.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their families and friends and the entire community affected by this senseless act of violence.”
According to the college’s Web site, “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.