The former student who authorities say gunned down and killed several people at an Oakland nursing college held a grudge against school officials, according to Oakland police, was deeply in debt with tens of thousands of dollars in federal tax liens against him and had two deaths in his immediate family last year.
One L. Goh, a 43-year-old Korean national, was apprehended Monday at a local supermarket about an hour after he allegedly killed seven and injured three people during a shooting rampage at Oakland's Oikos University. There were a total of 10 victims, five of whom died at the scene, while another two died after being transported to a local hospital. There is still no information on the other three victims.
"We've learned that the suspect was upset with the administration at the school. He was also upset that students in the past, when he attended the school, mistreated him, disrespected him, and things of that nature," Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan said today on "Good Morning America." "He was having, we believe, some behavioral problems at the school and was asked to leave several months ago.
"We've learned that this was a very chaotic, calculated and determined gentleman that came there with a very specific intent to kill people, and that's what his motive was and that's what he carried out," Jordan added.
Goh left behind a string of debts and minor traffic citations in his former home state of Virginia and was evicted from one apartment complex in the state, according to ABC News Bay Area affiliate KGO. Goh had been kicked out of Oikos University several months ago, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
An unidentified source also told the paper that Goh might have been involved in a dispute with campus officials.
Goh also lost two family members within the past 13 months, according to the Chronicle. His brother, U.S. Army Sgt. Su Wan Ko, died in March 2011 in an auto wreck in Virginia while on special forces training, the Chronicle reported. His mother, Oak Chul Kim, died a year ago in Seoul, according to a neighbor who told the Chronicle that she had moved there after deciding to leave Oakland. Goh's father, Young Nam Ko, had been living in Oakland but recently moved, neighbors said.
Goh also had federal tax liens in 2006 and 2009 totaling more than $23,000, the Chronicle reported, adding that he managed to pay off some amount of his tax debt.
Police in Oakland have now released a timeline of the chaotic events that took place Monday at the Christian university that focuses on nursing.
"Right now, we do not have a motive for this shooting," Oakland Police Chief Howard A. Jordan said Monday evening. "Today's unprecedented tragedy was shocking and senseless. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims, their families, and their friends; I offer my deepest condolences. No words can express the gravity of these crimes and the pain caused by them."
At 10:33 a.m. Monday the Oakland Police Department received a 9-1-1 call regarding a woman on the ground bleeding at Oikos University, according to the Oakland police. Police arrived on the scene at 10:36 a.m. to find the victim with a life-threatening gunshot wound; in the meantime several other calls were received regarding other victims.
Believing the suspect to still be inside, police initially established a perimeter around the building in use by Oikos University, a post-secondary vocational school which offers courses of study in Asian medicine, theology, music and nursing and has strong ties to the Korean-American community.
Breaking a window, Oakland Police and Oakland Unified School Police gained access to the school and coordinated an emergency evacuation and search.
"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," Jordan said Monday."Some of them were injured, so we had to rescue them out."
In total 13 people were extracted from the building by authorities; all the shooting victims were adults, according to Jordan. The victims were six women and one man, ranging from 21 to 40 and originally from Korea, Nigeria and Nepal, according to Jordan.
Within an hour and a half, investigators were in possession of the suspect's name and photo. Police then immediately were dispatched to his home and the residence of a local relative.
Police said that Goh commandeered a victim's car to flee the scene. He was apprehended a Safeway supermarket at the South Shore Center Alameda, Calif. at approximately 11:30 a.m., KGO reported.
A security guard at the South Shore Center had approached Goh because he was acting suspiciously. The guard says Goh told him he needed to speak to police and he had shot several people. The guard contacted Alameda police who arrested Goh without incident. He was then transferred to Oakland police.
A shopper at the mall who saw the man taken into custody said it occurred quietly.
"It looked like they stopped him at the door to, you know, see if he had anything in his pockets that he had stolen," Lisa Resler said. "There was no fight. He was just wearing a beanie."
Police planned further questioning of witnesses and Goh, who had yet to be charged as of 6 p.m. PT, Police Chief Jordan said. Officials also were looking for Korean-speaking crisis counselors to address the needs of those touched by the shootings, Mayor Jean Quan said.
Police believed Goh was the sole shooter, but they were not ruling out the possibility of more suspects, KGO reported.
Pastor Jong Kim, who founded the school about 10 years ago, told the Oakland Tribune that the shooter was a former nursing student, though he was unsure whether the man had been expelled or dropped out.
One witness described a chaotic scene in the moments after the shooting. Brian Snow was at a nearby credit union, when he first heard the shots and saw a victim run out of the building.
"I just heard more gunshots. A lady came out running and she had blood on her arm, but I didn't know how bad the wound was," Snow told KGO Radio. "She was just trying to make sure everyone was safe and took off her jacket and she had a big old hole in her arm."
Oikos University's website describes students as "given the opportunity to obtain a Christian education that is based on solid Christian doctrine and ideology. Our main goal is to foster spiritual Christian leaders who abide by God's intentions and to expand God's nation through them."