Skip to main content

California man ordered held without bail in Oakland college mass killings

By Michael Martinez and Dan Simon
April 5, 2012 -- Updated 0339 GMT (1139 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • District attorney will decide whether to seek death penalty
  • One L. Goh was a "loner" and "what some might call a loser," prosecutor says
  • Goh voluntarily dropped out of college; he wasn't expelled, prosecutor says
  • One L. Goh is charged with 7 murder counts, 3 of attempted murder

Read more coverage from affiliates KGO, KRON, KPIX and KTVU.

Oakland, California (CNN) -- One L. Goh was ordered held without bail Wednesday on charges of seven counts of murder with special circumstances and three counts of attempted murder in the mass shooting this week at Oikos University in Oakland.Goh made his initial court appearance Wednesday before Judge Sandra Bean in Oakland.

Goh made his initial court appearance Wednesday before Judge Sandra Bean in Oakland.

Bean read the charges aloud in court and explained Goh's rights to him. Wearing a red jail jumpsuit, Goh uttered one word, "yeah," when the judge asked him if One Goh is his name.

Goh's next court appearance is April 30.

At a news conference Wednesday, District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley clarified that Goh voluntarily left Oikos last November and wasn't expelled as earlier reported. Oikos is a small college in Oakland that caters primarily to the Korean-American Christian community.

Oakland police: Shooter 'not remorseful'
Oikos shooting witness discusses rampage
Campus shooter target was female admin.
Student's quick thinking saves class

Goh, 43, who is Korean-American, was upset because he "wanted some money back for tuition he had paid, and it is also clear that he focused on one particular administrator at the school who was not present at the school on Monday," the day of the shooting, O'Malley told reporters.

O'Malley described "the enormity and devastation of these crimes" as "unprecedented in Alameda County."

O'Malley said she would decide on whether to seek the death penalty after his preliminary hearing later this year.

"The information that we have received from some of the individuals who knew him at the school was that he was a loner and what some might call a loser, but he didn't exhibit any behaviors that we're aware that would have alerted anyone to a rampage," O'Malley told reporters.

Meanwhile, authorities on Wednesday identified the seven people who were killed.

The victims, all from California, were: Katleen Ping, 24; Judith Ona Seymour, 53, of San Jose; Lydia H. Sim, 21, of Hayward; Sonam Choedon, 33, of El Cerrito; Grace Eunhea Kim, 23, of Union City; Doris Ifeyinwa Chibuko, 40, of San Leandro; and Tshering Rinzing Bhutia, 38, of San Francisco, according to prosecutors.

Ping was killed in the commission of a kidnapping, and Bhutia was killed in connection with the carjacking of his vehicle, O'Malley said.

Ping worked in the administration division of the university, and the six other victims were students, O'Malley said.

Bhutia also had worked since March 2011 as a housekeeper/food court worker at San Francisco International Airport, the airport's director of community affairs said in a news release.

"He had been working the night shift and had been assigned to maintain and clean the food courts in the various terminals," it said. "Mr. Bhutia had told his immediate supervisor that he had aspirations of moving up to custodial supervisor and that he was attending classes during the day to help him reach that goal."

"This senseless tragedy has reached across the Bay and directly touched us here at SFO," said Airport Director John L. Martin.

Goh is also charged with the attempted murder of Dawinder Kaur, 19; Ahmad Javid Sayeed, 36; and Grace Kirika, 43, O'Malley said.

Goh allegedly used a .45-caliber gun with four fully loaded magazines of ammunition, O'Malley said.

Most of the rounds were fired, said Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan.

Jordan also provided new details on how Goh was arrested after he allegedly fled the college in a victim's car.

Goh went to a Safeway grocery and asked an employee, if he could use the telephone, Jordan said. During the phone call, it became clear to the employee that something serious had occurred. The employee alerted store security, which in turn alerted Alameda Police, Jordan said.

Authorities are investigating whether Goh was phoning a family member, Jordan said.

On Monday morning, Goh allegedly walked into the single-story building, took a secretary hostage and went looking for a particular female administrator, Jordan said.

Realizing the administrator was not in the classroom where he'd hoped to find her, Goh allegedly shot the secretary and ordered the students to line up against the wall, police said. Not all of them cooperated, Jordan said, and he allegedly began shooting.

"I'm going to kill you all," the gunman allegedly said.

"This was a calculated, cold-blooded execution in the classroom," the police chief said. The suspect "just felt a certain urge to inflict pain on them."

The first 911 calls came at 10:33 a.m.

"Shots coming from inside the building, people are running out screaming," a dispatcher says in one of the police radio exchanges.

After the shootings, the gunman left the classroom, reloaded his semiautomatic weapon and returned, firing into several classrooms, Jordan said.

He ended his rampage by driving off in a victim's car, police said.

In all, seven people were killed, and three were wounded. The victims were from countries that included Korea, Nepal, Nigeria and the Philippines.

"This happened within minutes," Jordan said. "We don't think the victims had any opportunity to resist, any opportunity to surrender."

Police arrived at the college to find a chaotic scene.

"There's a female bleeding down on the ground, face down on the concrete," a dispatcher says in one radio exchange.

Inside the building, survivors hid behind locked doors or desks.

"They were just pulling out bodies after bodies," said Art Richards, a witness.

The suspect was arrested about an hour later when he surrendered to police at the grocery store in the Oakland suburb of Alameda, Jordan said. Goh offered no resistance when arrested, Jordan said, and was "very cooperative, very matter-of-fact, very calm."

Investigators have determined the gun was obtained legally in California, but they have yet to locate it.

Police said Goh was self-conscious about his inability to speak English like a native and felt students and others at the school made fun of him. While Goh appeared close to his family, visiting his parents in senior housing, he struggled with debt, including a tax lien by the Internal Revenue Service, according to court records.

CNN affiliate KGO said Goh's brother, a staff sergeant in the Army, died in a car accident while training with the Special Forces.

CNN's Sara Weisfeldt, Matt Smith, Alan Duke, Paul Vercammen, Ashley Hayes, Catherine Shoichet and Augie Martin contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT