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Oakland college shooting: Troubling portrait of suspect emerges [Updated]

April 3, 2012 |  4:53 pm

Photo: An Oakland police boat and helicopter search a channel off the San Leandro Bay for the weapon used in a shooting that killed seven at Oikos University. Creidt: Sarah Rice / Getty Images
A troubled portrait of the man who police say gunned down seven students
at a small Oakland college is emerging a day after one of California’s most deadly rampages. 

One L. Goh, 43, moved to Oakland from Virginia in recent years after accruing a number of small infractions and misdemeanors on the East Coast. Once in Oakland, Goh spent about a year working  with his father, Young Ko, at a Korean Market in Daly City. Ko had been living nearby in an Oakland-area Christian senior housing complex that accommodates about equal parts Korean, Chinese and other residents. 

Acquaintances there said Goh’s father was a humble man who worked hard as a stock boy at a Korean Market in Daly City. They said Ko rarely received visits from his children, including Goh.

PHOTOS: Shooting at small Oakland college

"I never saw him with a friend, he was mostly alone," said Park, a 70-year-old Korean resident who asked that only his last name be used.

Goh butted heads with co-workers at the market and left barely a year into the job, a worker at the store's meat counter told The Times. Goh eventually took another job delivering rice around the Bay Area, but the worker said that job also didn't last long, and soon Goh was unemployed.

When Goh’s father, now in his 70s, saw an ad for the nursing program at Oikos University, he suggested that his son enroll. 

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Goh brought a string of debts with him to the Bay Area and had even been evicted from one apartment complex while in Virginia. Ko paid his son's tuition through his market job, the co-worker said.

But Goh was expelled from Oikos, school officials say. The Associated Press reports that the nursing student had been teased by peers about his English skills during his tenure at the school, and police say his dismissal left Goh seeking revenge on the university and one specific female administrator.Religious-School-Shooting.JPEG-02211

The AP reported that Goh’s mother and brother both died in 2011, and he was still reeling from the loss when he was expelled from the university.

Ko was at his workplace when he was notified of the shooting at Oikos and abruptly left, the co-worker said. The worker declined to give his name.

Goh had taken a woman hostage at the school, then moved into a classroom and lined students against the wall, picking off seven women one by one.

“He has not shown any signs of remorse,” Oakland police spokeswoman Johanna Watson told The Times Tuesday morning.

Goh would fire more shots outside the classroom, and use his semiautomatic handgun to kill a man to commandeer his car, police said. At one point, Goh drove to an Oakland estuary that feeds into the San Leandro Bay and dumped the weapon, authorities say.

About two hours after the shooting, police say Goh arrived at a Safeway store in nearby Alameda and called his father. Ko then called police.

Goh remains in police custody, and the case is expected to be turned over to the district attorney’s office on Wednesday.

The attack will go down as among California's worst shooting rampages. Last year, a gunman opened fire at a Seal Beach hair salon, killing eight 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.

[Updated at 6:21 p.m. April 3: An earlier version of this story said that nine people were killed in the Seal Beach shooting.]


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Oakland college shooting: Gunman killed mostly women

Oakland college gunman: 'Chaotic, calculated, determined to kill'

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

Photo top: An Oakland police boat and helicopter search a channel off the San Leandro Bay for the weapon used in a shooting that killed seven at Oikos University. Creidt: Sarah Rice / Getty Images Bottom: Booking photo of suspect One Goh. Credit: Alameda County Sheriff's Dept. via The San Francisco Chronicle