Oakland college gunman threw weapon into bay, police say
Police deployed robots and boats Tuesday to help them find the weapon they say a gunman used to kill seven and wound three people at Oikos University, a small Oakland religious college.
Overnight leads took authorities to an Oakland estuary that feeds into the San Leandro Bay. Police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said the semiautomatic handgun they seek was purchased legally by suspect One L. Goh, 43, in California.
“The suspect has been cooperating, but he has not pinpointed the exact location” of the gun, Watson said Tuesday.
Detectives are using a robot with a sonar attached to it to search the bottom of the estuary, which runs along the 7200 block of Doolittle Drive near the Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline Center. The sonar is on loan from the San Francisco Police Department, which is also providing a boat equipped with underwater tracking devices.
The gun drop adds to a bizarre sequence of events that ended when Goh turned himself in to police at a Safeway supermarket in Alameda just after midday Monday.
The search for the weapon comes after a total of 10 people were shot Monday at nearby Oikos University. Tuesday morning, the doors to the school were open as crime scene investigators in white protective gear shuffled in and out. The school itself remains closed.
Watson confirmed that Goh had been expelled from Oikos and appeared to be targeting a female administrator when he entered the school and began shooting after 10 a.m. Monday. It was unclear if the administrator was the person who dismissed him.
Five people died at the scene Monday morning. Two others died after being transported to hospitals. Three injured victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
With only a few hundred students, Oikos University fills a particular and unusual niche, enrolling a heavily Korean student body and offering classes only in Bible study, nursing and music, according to its website. Larry Reid, who is Oakland's City Council president and represents the district where the college is located, said he had been unaware of the school's existence until its low profile was shattered Monday by the shootings, which brought the school a sudden, nightmarish notoriety.
"Today there are a number of individuals who lost their lives to senseless violence," Reid said. "It's just another sad day in my city."
The violence is considered to be among California's worst shooting rampages. Last year, a gunman opened fire at a Seal Beach hair salon, killing nine people. In 1984, James Huberty killed 21 people at a McDonald's in San Ysidro. In 1976, a former Marine opened fire at the Cal State Fullerton library, killing seven people.
-- Maria La Ganga in Oakland and Matt Stevens in Los Angeles
Photo: A police official tosses a search device into the water at Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline in Oakland. Credit: Jeff Chiu / Associated Press