Accused Gunman Pleads Not Guilty in Oakland College Rampage

One L. Goh was a "loner" and "what some might call a loser," prosecutor says.
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8:25 PM CDT, April 30, 2012


OAKLAND, Calif. -- A former nursing student plead not guilty Monday to seven counts of murder in a shooting rampage at a vocational school in Oakland.

One L. Goh, 43, is also charged with three counts of attempted murder in the April 2 rampage at Oikos University, a private religious school.

Prosecutors claim Goh, a South Korean national, was upset because he "wanted some money back for tuition he had paid, and it is also clear that he focused on one particular administrator at the school who was not present at the school on Monday," the day of the shooting.

District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley described "the enormity and devastation of these crimes" as "unprecedented in Alameda County."

Authorities identified the seven victims as: Katleen Ping, 24; Judith Ona Seymour, 53, of San Jose; Lydia H. Sim, 21, of Hayward; Sonam Choedon, 33, of El Cerrito; Grace Eunhea Kim, 23, of Union City; Doris Ifeyinwa Chibuko, 40, of San Leandro; and Tshering Rinzing Bhutia, 38, of San Francisco.

Ping was killed in the commission of a kidnapping, and Bhutia was killed in connection with the carjacking of his vehicle, O'Malley said.

Goh is also charged with the attempted murder of Dawinder Kaur, 19; Ahmad Javid Sayeed, 36; and Grace Kirika, 43, O'Malley said.

Goh allegedly used a .45-caliber gun with four fully loaded magazines of ammunition, O'Malley said.

Most of the rounds were fired, said Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan.

On the morning of April 2, Goh allegedly walked into the single-story building, took a secretary hostage and went looking for a particular female administrator, Jordan said.

Realizing the administrator was not in the classroom where he'd hoped to find her, Goh allegedly shot the secretary and ordered the students to line up against the wall, police said. Not all of them cooperated, Jordan said, and he allegedly began shooting.

"I'm going to kill you all," the gunman allegedly said.

"This was a calculated, cold-blooded execution in the classroom," the police chief said. The suspect "just felt a certain urge to inflict pain on them."

The first 911 calls came at 10:33 a.m.

"Shots coming from inside the building, people are running out screaming," a dispatcher says in one of the police radio exchanges.

After the shootings, the gunman left the classroom, reloaded his semiautomatic weapon and returned, firing into several classrooms, Jordan said.

He ended his rampage by driving off in a victim's car, police said.

"This happened within minutes," Jordan said. "We don't think the victims had any opportunity to resist, any opportunity to surrender."

Police arrived at the college to find a chaotic scene.

"There's a female bleeding down on the ground, face down on the concrete," a dispatcher says in one radio exchange.

Inside the building, survivors hid behind locked doors or desks.

"They were just pulling out bodies after bodies," said Art Richards, a witness.

The suspect was arrested about an hour later when he surrendered to police at the grocery store in the Oakland suburb of Alameda, Jordan said.

Goh offered no resistance when arrested, Jordan said, and was "very cooperative, very matter-of-fact, very calm."

Police said Goh was self-conscious about his inability to speak English like a native and felt students and others at the school made fun of him.

While Goh appeared close to his family, visiting his parents in senior housing, he struggled with debt, including a tax lien by the Internal Revenue Service, according to court records.

Goh's brother, a staff sergeant in the Army, died in a car accident while training with the Special Forces.

He is due back in court June 25.