Oakland college shooting: Gunman described as loner, loser, D.A. says
Officials from the Alameda County district attorney's office said Wednesday that they will wait to decide whether to seek the death penalty for mass-murder suspect One Goh until after a preliminary hearing.
But in the interim, Dist. Atty. Nancy E. O'Malley used sharp language to describe the alleged gunman’s "murder rampage" as unprecedented in Alameda County.
At a press conference that followed Goh's first appearance in court, authorities said that the suspect went to Oikos University armed with a .45-caliber weapon and four fully loaded magazines of ammunition. Prosecutors allege Goh, 43, was responsible for shooting and killing seven people on campus Monday morning and critically injuring three more.
O'Malley told reporters Wednesday that Goh committed "crimes of such enormity and brutality that our community, our country and citizens around the world are left reeling."
Law enforcement officials also used the conference to adjust their description of Goh's alleged motive. A day after Police Chief Howard Jordan said Goh had been expelled from Oikos this year "for behavioral problems, anger management," O'Malley clarified that Goh left the school voluntarily in November.
"He was not expelled," she said. "He was not asked to leave."
The district attorney also added to the emerging portrait of Goh.
Jordan also clarified Wednesday that his officers continue to search for the murder weapon "along the route" of the 7200 block of Doolittle Drive near the Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline Center.
Asked why procuring the gun was so important, O'Malley said, "It's one more piece of solid evidence to present to the jury, but it’s clear that he is the person and the only person responsible for what happened."
Police say Goh arrived at the campus in an industrial section of east Oakland on Monday morning and ordered the students inside to line up against the wall. When some refused, he opened fire, officials said. He had time during the rampage, authorities believe, to reload and continue shooting.
Six women and one man were killed. They ranged in age from 21 to 53 and were from South Korea, Nigeria, Nepal and the Philippines, largely immigrant students learning English, nursing, theology and Asian medicine.
"We don't believe that any of the victims were the ones that teased him," Jordan said. "We believed he stopped [shooting] because people were able to use the phone. He could have heard people calling 911."
Goh was detained a few hours later by Alameda police officers near a Safeway supermarket.
Meanwhile, police believe the target of the shooting was nursing director Ellen Cervellon because she had denied his request for a full tuition refund, the Associated Press reported. Police said that Goh began shooting inside a classroom after being informed that Cervellon wasn’t present.
"In talking to several of the students and faculty who were there, I think he was looking for me. I have that weight on my shoulders and I don't know what to do with it," Cervellon told the AP. "Every single one of those students were going to be an excellent, excellent nurse. They're in my heart and they always will be."
-- Maria L. La Ganga in Oakland and Matt Stevens in Los Angeles
Photo: Alameda County Dist. Atty. Nancy O'Malley announces charges against One Goh. Credit: Peter DaSilva / EPA