OAKLAND -- Police say they have a confession in hand. Murder charges are pending. And memorial services for the seven people killed in the shooting rampage at Oikos University on Monday are already being held.
But police are still piecing together the gruesome details of what happened as One L. Goh reportedly entered the tiny university campus in East Oakland and opened fire in what police believe was an attempt to exact revenge on an administrator and other students he thought were disrespectful.
Authorities said Tuesday that One admitted his involvement in the shooting and told investigators that one female administrator in particular at Oikos University was the object of his fury, mainly because she wouldnot help him get back $6,000 in tuition.
The 43-year-old suspect told police he wanted to get back at the school and to inflict pain, police Chief Howard Jordan said. There are conflicting reports about whether he was expelled, but the suspect left the school in November and told investigators he wasn't satisfied with the class he was taking. He was also upset with some classmates because he felt he was being teased -- particularly about his English skills -- and treated differently by them. People stopped talking to him and wouldn't even acknowledge him at times, he told investigators.
Seven people died and three more were wounded in the shooting at the small Christian university. It was the Bay Area's worst mass killing in
The coroner's office has identified the victims as Judith O. Seymour, 53, of San Jose; Lydia H. Sim, 21, of Hayward; Sonam Chodon, 33, of El Cerrito; Kim G. Eunhea 23, of Union City; Doris Chibuko, 40, of San Leandro; and Bhutia Tshering, 38, of San Francisco. Some of the names contain discrepancies, however. Friends of Bhutia Tshering said his name is actually Tshering Rinzing Bhutia, while Kim G. Eunhea was known as Grace Kim.
The school's receptionist, Katleen Ping, 21, of Oakland, also was shot and killed Monday, her family confirmed, although her name was not on the list released Tuesday.
Police say they believe the suspect reloaded a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol at least once during the rampage, and only stopped shooting and fled because he heard people calling 911. "We don't believe the suspect intended to have a confrontation with the police, so he left after he finished shooting," Jordan said.
Police say the suspect legally purchased a gun six weeks ago in Castro Valley and they believe it was used in the shooting, but authorities haven't yet recovered the weapon. On Tuesday morning, police combed an area near the Oakland Estuary off Doolittle Drive searching for the gun. The search site was decided upon in part because it was along One's purported escape route to Alameda, and because of the discovery of fresh footprints along the shoreline.
The first call of trouble came at 10:33 a.m. Monday to police dispatchers from the Alameda County Community Food Bank next door to the university. It was dispatched as "woman down, bleeding profusely." The woman, one of those who later died, had fled from the school to the food bank parking lot, leaving a trail of blood trying to escape the shooter, who police say had taken BART and a bus to get to the college in the 7800 block of Edgewater Drive.
But before officers responding to the food bank call arrived at 10:36 a.m., additional 911 calls were coming in that shots were being fired at the university, with people screaming and running from the building.
The first officer to respond, a five-year veteran who did not want his name used, said he found the bleeding woman in the food bank parking lot, "nonresponsive and bleeding from the head." Firefighters joined him a few minutes later to aid the woman.
He began CPR on the woman while other officers began setting up a perimeter around the university.
Sgt. Dom Arotzarena, who was in charge of the first group of officers to respond, said when he saw the wounded woman and the blood trail from the university, "I just knew something was wrong." He began establishing a perimeter around the building and drove his police car onto the median to provide cover if needed.
An Oakland public school police officer who had gone to the front glass doors of the school found them locked, which was standard procedure during the day. Through the glaring glass he could make out a woman prone on the floor inside, not moving. Arotzarena could see a shell casing near the body and realized the woman had been shot. She was one of the dead.
Fearing the gunman was still inside and that there were more victims, a decision was made to break down the glass doors and begin searching.
"We were ready to shoot it out," Arotzarena said. "We didn't know what we were going to face. We had to go in. There was one down. We had to save lives."
At that point, some students who were not shot started running out the front door while others fled out a rear exit.
Police found more shooting victims inside or near the entrance to a nursing classroom, six feet from the front door. More ambulances were requested.
"In all my life I've never heard such dead silence, such eerie silence," Arotzarena said. "People were alive and shot but there was no screaming."
Heavily armed SWAT officers were summoned within a half-hour for a more thorough search of the premises. They did not know at the time that the gunman had fled. But SWAT officers did find more than a dozen students and school personnel hiding in various rooms behind locked doors, including one room the gunman had shot into in an apparent attempt to get inside and possibly continue his spree.
Callers, though, had provided One's name and a description within a few minutes of the first call. Police were not sure how he fled the scene but say they later learned he took the car keys of a man slain and drove off in the man's Honda. The man was later identified as Bhutia.
One was arrested within 90 minutes at an Alameda supermarket, where he had told disbelieving employees and customers he had just shot a lot of people, police said.Within 30 minutes of the first call, scores of firefighters and paramedics and numerous ambulances had arrived and were dealing with the magnitude of the carnage.
Victims, some dead and some still alive, were being carried out in officers arms, in chairs or on gurneys. Four of the dead were covered by a tarp on the grass center median which also became a triage area of sorts as well as the food bank parking lot.
"It was a little intimidating," the five-year officer said of the carnage at the school.
"It was the worst I've seen in my five years."
He was among those trying to calm the students and school officials who had escaped unscathed and garner what information they could about what had happened.
It was not an easy task.
"I've never seen people that scared," the officer said. "They were crying and shaking. They were so terrified they could barely speak or get words out."