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7 Dead After Shooting Rampage At Calif. University

Apr 2, 2012
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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

CORNISH: Seven people are dead and three more wounded in a shooting at a religious university in Oakland, California today. The school is Oikos University and police reportedly have a suspect in custody.

CORNISH: NPR's Richard Gonzales is on the scene. And, Richard, start by telling us what you know about what happened there?

RICHARD GONZALES, BYLINE: Audie, around 10:30 this morning police received reports, a 911 call, that someone was shooting inside of this university that's situated in an industrial park near the Oakland International Airport. Police responded almost immediately and there was a brief period of total chaos, as we're told, because the police were inside looking for the gunman. And, you know, there were other victims and people who were wounded who were lying around in considerable pain.

For some reason, though, we're not sure and we don't yet know why or how the gunman was able to get out of the building and escape the police cordoned around him.

CORNISH: And we mentioned earlier that the police apparently have a suspect in custody. Who is it?

GONZALES: He has been described as a man of Asian descent, of Korean descent in his 40s. He was apprehended in Alameda, which is an (unintelligible) city, about 10 or 15 minutes to the west of Oakland. The details of his apprehension are still pretty fuzzy. Police are not giving us much information on that.

What we do know is that he is considered a person of interest. He has been detained but not yet arrested. The police are still talking with witnesses, people who were inside the building when the shooting occurred, so they've not yet actually filed charges against this man.

And we also know - according to the Associated Press - that the pastor and founder of the Oikos University, Jong Kim, says that the shooter apparently was a former nursing student who had been enrolled at the school. But there's no information yet as to why he is a former student and what his status is, why he was no longer there, no longer enrolled and what grievances he may have had.

CORNISH: Richard, tell us a little bit more about this school, Oikos University, who runs it? What do they teach there?

GONZALES: Oikos University is situated on the western edge of Oakland. It's associated with the Praise God Korean Church in Oakland here. There's another branch in San Francisco. We don't know a lot about it, but we do know that its student body is mostly Korean and Korean-Americans. They study theology and ministry here, nursing, music and Asian medicine.

This business park is some distance away from some of the roughest parts of Oakland. So, the idea that there will be a mass shooting here is somewhat of a surprise. We will be learning more about the situation because the police said that they would be briefing the reporters later.

And there are many, many questions that have yet to be answered, such as what is the gunman's motive and what was his grievance with the people inside here. We will hear more. The city council will be briefed at five o'clock local time, and the police will be holding the fullest briefing of the day at 6 p.m. local time.

CORNISH: Richard, thank you.

GONZALES: Thank you, Audie.

CORNISH: That's NPR's Richard Gonzales in Oakland, California, where there has been a shooting on the campus of the religious university, Oikos University, in Oakland. So far, at least seven people are reported dead and several more wounded. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.