horrifying accounts of the moment a gunman burst into a Californian university killing seven people emerged yesterday as police questioned a suspect over the rampage.
South Korean-born former student 43-year-old One Goh turned himself in at a nearby supermarket shortly after the shootings at Oikos University in Oakland on Monday that also left three people wounded.
Police said Goh had been expelled in January from the school where he had been teased over his poor English skills and appeared to have been planning his attacks for some weeks.
He began shooting, moving from room to room, after finding his intended target, a woman administrator, was not in the building, police said.
Officers spoke of a “chaotic scene” in the aftermath. Five victims died at the scene and another two in hospital. They included six students and a secretary, ranging in age from 21 to 40.
He had forced the secretary into one of the classrooms, where Oakland police chief Howard Jordan said he asked people to line up.
“Not everyone was co-operative and that’s when he began shooting,” he said.
Goh was upset with school administrators and with several students because of the way he felt he had been treated.
“They disrespected him, laughed at him. They made fun of his lack of English speaking skills. It made him feel isolated compared to the other students,” he said.
“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.”
One injured victim was named as 19-year-old US army reservist Dawinder Kaur. Her family said the gunman was a student in her nursing class who had been absent for months before returning on Monday. He entered the classroom and ordered students to line up against the wall. When he showed his gun, students began running and he opened fire.
“She told me that a guy went crazy and she got shot,” her brother Paul Singh said. “She was running. She was crying; she was bleeding, it was wrong.”
Tashi Wangchuk, whose wife was in a nursing class at the university, said he was told by police the gunman first shot a woman at the front desk then continued shooting randomly in classrooms.
When his wife heard gunshots, she locked the door and turned off the lights, to make it look as if the room was empty. The gunman “banged on the door several times and started shooting outside and left”. No one was hurt, but the man shot out the glass. “She’s a hero,” he said.
Art Richards was driving by the university when he spotted a woman hiding in bushes. He pulled over, and when he approached her, she said, “I’m shot” and showed him her arm. “She had a piece of her arm hanging out,” he said.
As police arrived, Mr Richards said he heard 10 gunshots coming from the building. The woman told him she saw the gunman shoot one person point-blank in the chest and one in the head.
Deborah Lee, who was in an English language class, said she heard five to six gunshots at first. “The teacher said ‘Run’ and we ran,” she said. “I was okay, because I know God protects me. I’m not afraid of him.”
The private school serves the Korean community with courses from theology to Asian medicine.
Goh was held at a supermarket about an hour after the shooting. He had called his father and told him what had happened, and his father called the authorities.
A security guard approached him because he was acting suspiciously. He told the guard that he needed to talk to police because he had shot people.
Witness Lisa Resler, who was at the supermarket, said: “He didn’t look like he had a sign of relief on him. He didn’t look like he had much of any emotion on his face.”