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Calif. college official says she was the shooter’s target
OAKLAND, Calif. — An administrator at a small Christian university where seven people were killed this week said Wednesday she was the gunman’s primary target after she rejected his repeated requests for a refund of his tuition.
Ellen Cervellon, director of the nursing program at Oikos University, wasn’t on campus Monday when her former student, One Goh, came looking for her.
Two days later, in an interview with the Associated Press, a shaken Ms. Cervellon said the killings are haunting her.
“I have that weight on my shoulders and I don’t know what to do with it,” she said, her voice quavering. “Every single one of those students were going to be an excellent, excellent nurse. They’re in my heart, and they always will be.”
Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan confirmed that Ms. Cervellon was the gunman’s apparent target. Officer Johnna Watson, a police spokeswoman, said later that police are looking into the possibility that other administrators had been targeted, too.
Mr. Goh, 43, was charged Wednesday with seven counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder, plus a special circumstance allegation of committing multiple murders that could make him eligible for the death penalty.
Shackled and showing little emotion, Mr. Goh said nothing during a brief court appearance other than a soft “yes” when the judge asked whether he understood the charges. He did not enter a plea.
“He admitted to kidnapping a woman and forcing her from her office into a classroom at gunpoint,” Officer Trevino said in the statement. “He admitted to shooting and killing several people inside the classroom, before taking one of the victim’s car keys and fleeing the scene in the victim’s car.”
Police arrested Mr. Goh about an hour after the shooting spree at a supermarket a few miles from campus.
A student wounded in the rampage said Mr. Goh burst into the classroom shouting and quickly began firing his weapon. Ahmad Sayeed was shot through the shoulder as he scrambled to get out with other panicked students.
The 36-year-old immigrant nursing student from Afghanistan said he did not understand what Mr. Goh was yelling, though he did hear him order students to line up in the front of the classroom.
Mr. Sayeed said he has been this frightened once before - when the Taliban attacked his high school in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
“The exact thing happened at my school,” Mr. Sayeed recalled. “The Taliban came in and killed five students. I was very afraid then, too.”
By Brahma Chellaney
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