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Families, friends mourn victims of Oakland college shooting

April 4, 2012 |  9:22 am

 

At a memorial for the victims of the mass shooting at Oikos University in Oakland, devastated family and friends prayed, shed tears and mourned for the seven whose lives were lost.

Nam Soo Woo, the small Christian university’s vice president, recounted a conversation he had earlier in the day to mourners who filled the pews of the dimly lit, stained glass-lined hall Tuesday night. The devastated father of Lydia Sim, a 21-year-old nursing student from Hayward, told him of how he had lived for his daughter, Woo said.

"For 35 years after I came to the U.S., I lived to raise my daughter as someone who would serve society, and that dream has been quashed," the father said, Woo recalled. "I can’t understand."

Photos: Shooting at small college in Oakland

"I told him, 'I can’t understand it either,' " Woo said.

Reflecting the diversity of those who were killed, the prayers were in Korean and English with a smattering of Tibetan and Hebrew. Jean Quan, the city’s mayor, remarked Oakland was a place that "prays in 130 different languages."

Tenzin Tsedup, president of the Tibetan Assn. of Northern California, remembered his friend Sonam Choedon, 33, as a "simple, kind" woman. She worked in India for the Tibetan government in exile for five years before coming to the U.S., Tsedup said.

Choedon, he said, was one of two Tibetans killed in Monday’s shooting rampage.

"We all must unite as a community and teach compassion and love," he said.

Quan spoke in fierce defense of the city of Oakland. The violence could have happened in any other U.S. city, she said.

"This is America, where you can find a gun easier than mental health services," she said, to resounding applause.

"These are people who came together at the school because Oakland is a city of dreams," Quan said of the victims. They are what "makes the city and makes it vibrant," the mayor said.

The memorial was held soon after six of the seven shooting victims were identified by the Alameda County Sheriff's Office Coroner's Bureau. The victims included Sim, Choedon, Bhutia Tshering, 38, Judith O. Seymore, 53, Kim G. Eunhea, 23, and Doris Chibuko, 40.

The suspect, One L. Goh, 43, is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday. Authorities say Goh had been expelled from Oikos this year for behavioral problems, including anger issues.

He allegedly ordered the students inside the school to line up against the wall Monday morning. When some refused, he opened fire, officials said.

RELATED:

Victims identified, mourned

Suspect felt teased, police say

Gunman had problems with women, teacher says

-- Victoria Kim in Oakland and Matt Stevens in Los Angeles

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