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Shooting suspect felt disrespected
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Question of the Day
OAKLAND, Calif. — One Goh’s life was on the skids even before he became the suspect in the nation’s biggest mass school shooting since Virginia Tech.
He was chased by creditors. He grieved the death of his brother. In January, he was expelled from Oikos University, a small Christian school where he studied nursing. And, police say, he was angry.
Mr. Goh, who was born in South Korea, told them he felt disrespected by teasing about his poor English at the Oakland school - a college founded as a safe place where Korean immigrants could adjust to a new country and build careers.
So he bought a gun and a few weeks later took his revenge, opening fire at the college Monday in a rampage that left six students and a receptionist dead and wounded three more, authorities said.
“It’s very, very sad,” police Chief Howard Jordan said. “We have seven people who didn’t deserve to die and three others wounded because someone who couldn’t deal with the pressures of life.”
Though records list an Oakland address for Mr. Goh in 2004, he lived for most of the decade in Virginia. Mr. Goh, now 43, spent a few months in late 2005 in suburban Richmond and three years in Gloucester County, where he lived in an aging townhome complex around the corner from a storage facility.
In 2009, Mr. Goh was evicted for owing back rent. Online records in the two Virginia localities show that, while Mr. Goh was there, he racked up tens of thousands in liens and judgments, including a $10,377 debt to SunTrust Bank in 2006. The Internal Revenue Service also issued tax liens against him in 2006 and 2009 totaling more than $23,000, though he apparently paid about $14,000 back in 2008, according to records.
According to Gloucester County Court records, Capital One sued him for $985.96 on an unpaid credit card bill, plus court costs. The court issued a judgment against him Dec. 9.
His brother was an Army sergeant stationed in Germany who died in a March 2011 car crash while attending Special Forces selection training in Virginia, according to the military newspaper Stars and Stripes. The same year, Mr. Goh’s mother died in South Korea, her former Oakland neighbors told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Oikos officials have not said publicly what led to his January expulsion, but Chief Jordan said officials kicked him out for unspecified behavioral problems and having “anger management” issues.
People at the school “disrespected him, laughed at him,” Chief Jordan said. “They made fun of his lack of English speaking skills. It made him feel isolated compared to the other students.”
One of the slain was receptionist Katleen Ping, 24, who came to the U.S. from the Philippines in 2007 and leaves behind a 4-year-old son, said her father, Liberty Ping. He described his daughter as the rock of their family.
“We’re just focusing on the positives,” he said. “She’s with the Lord. She’s in a better place right now.”
Police said Mr. Goh has cooperated with officers - though he would not reveal where he left the semi-automatic pistol used in the shooting. He is expected to make his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon.
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