US shooting 'shocking and senseless'

2012-04-03 07:42
San Francisco - Seven people were killed when a gunman entered a private Christian college in northern California and opened fire. A 43-year-old former student was detained.

One L Goh surrendered to police after Monday's shootings at Oikos University in Oakland, Police Chief Howard Jordan said without indicating a motive. The arrest was made at a shopping centre not far from the college about an hour after the shootings.

Five victims died at the scene, located at an industrial park near Oakland's airport, and two died in hospital, said Jordan, who described the killings as "shocking and senseless".

Three people were injured.

Officers responded to an emergency call at the college to find "a very chaotic scene", Jordan said.

Some students had fled in panic while others had barricaded themselves in classrooms. Police had to break windows and force open doors to get to victims.

The students at the college said they recognised the shooter as a former nursing student. He entered a classroom, ordered everyone inside against a wall and drew a handgun, Gurpreet Sahota told the Oakland Tribune, relating the account of his sister-in-law, nursing student Dawinder Kaur, 19, who was shot in the arm.

"The people started running, and he started shooting," Sahota was quoted as saying.

Oikos University is a private educational institution that serves the Korean community. Goh is of Korean origin, authorities said.

The college offers nurse training and instruction in Asian medicine, music and religious studies. On its website, it said it offers "the opportunity to obtain a Christian education that is based on solid Christian doctrine and ideology."

The shootings happened during the Christian Holy Week and six days before Easter.

The Reverend Jongin Kim, the college's founder, told the Tribune that the suspect had been a nursing student but did not know why he had left the school.

Witnesses to Goh's arrest told KGO-TV that he told a supermarket security guard he had shot a number of people and wanted to talk to police. They said he appeared calm.

- SAPA
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