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In Oakland, California yesterday, a former student opened fire at random at a small college. Seven people were killed were killed in the shooting spree. It's the deadliest school shooting in the country since the 2007 killings at Virginia Tech.
The Oakland shooting took place at a small Korean religious college. Police say the lone gunman had been expelled from the school and went there looking for a female administrator. He was also upset with students who teased him for his English skills. Police say the dead includes six students and a school secretary. NPR's Richard Gonzales sent us this story from the scene.
RICHARD GONZALES, BYLINE: I'm standing about a hundred yards from Oikos University. It's housed in a nondescript single-story industrial building in a business park here near the Oakland International Airport. Its website says it trains men and women for Christian leadership, both lay and clerical. But it doesn't say how many students attend.
We do know that it offers courses in nursing, music, biblical studies and Asian medicine. And now, it's the site of one of the most fatal mass shootings in California in recent memory.
Police says that 43-year-old One L. Goh, a Korean national, was in a class at Oikos University when he opened fire with a handgun. Oakland police Chief Howard Jordan says just a few minutes after someone made a 911 distress call in the mid-morning, his first officer arrived and found a bloody and chaotic scene.
HOWARD JORDAN: Approximately 35 persons are believed to have been in or near the building when this crime occurred. Officers extracted a total of 13 persons from the building, some of whom were gravely wounded.
GONZALES: Among the wounded was Dawinder Kaur. Her brother Paul Singh rushed to the school after receiving a frantic call from his sister.
PAUL SINGH: My sister called me, running, said, I've been shot. I live in Santa Clara so I drove from there to here with my parents to help her.
GONZALES: Dawinder Kaur survived the attack.
Chief Jordan says when more police arrived they established a perimeter believing that Goh, the shooter, may still be trapped inside. But the gunman had already escaped after commandeering the car of one of his victims.
Goh drove about five miles away to Alameda, a neighboring city, where he reportedly entered a grocery store and told employees, I just shot some people. That's when he was apprehended without incident. Chief Jordan says a fuller investigation into what happened is just getting underway.
JORDAN: We don't know exactly how the sequence took place. We knew that when we got there officers found several victims throughout the classroom, throughout the building. There were several people hiding in locked buildings, locked doors, behind desks, as you can imagine, very frightened, very scared.
GONZALES: Oakland Mayor Jean Quan says it appears that most of the victims were Korean.
MAYOR JEAN QUAN: This is the kind of situation where we need to pull together and to support the Korean community in particular. I just hope that we will put our arms around this group of people and these families and do our best to bring peace back to the city.
GONZALES: Quan says a memorial service for the victims is scheduled for tonight.
Richard Gonzales, NPR News, Oakland.
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