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At Oakland’s Allen Temple Baptist Church on Tuesday night, Mayor Jean Quan joined pastors from the Bay Area’s Korean Christian community in calling unity and peace in their often troubled city.

“America has to look into its soul,” Quan told the audience. “This is America where you can find a gun easier than you can find mental health services.”

Among those attending the service were friends of Ping, the slain receptionist who came to the U.S. from the Philippines in 2007 and leaves behind a 4-year-old son, according to her family.

Bev Concepcion, a nursing instructor who often had lunch with Ping, was supposed to teach a class Monday morning, but the receptionist told her to teach the evening class instead. Concepcion said she’s still not sure why, but that last-minute change may have saved her life.

“She’s a very sweet young lady, very hard working and family-oriented,” Conception said after Tuesday’s service. “It’s so sad. It’s very tragic, very painful. She’s my very, very close friend and now she’s gone.”


Associated Press writers Zinie Chen Sampson in Gloucester, Va., Terry Collins in Oakland and Marcus Wohlsen in San Francisco contributed to this report.