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Seven dead, three injured in Oikos University campus shooting

on April 2, 2012

As of 2:45 pm on Monday, the Oakland Police Department has confirmed that a total of 10 people were injured, of whom 7 died, at a shooting on the Oikos University campus earlier this morning.

The Oakland Police Department currently has one person in custody in connection to this incident, said OPD spokesperson Officer Johnna Watson. Police are referring to the man, whom Watson described as Asian and in his 40s, as a “person of interest” in the case. “We believe this is the person,” she told reporters.

Reporters gather for a press briefing by OPD spokesperson Officer Johnna Watson. Photo by Alex Park.

Police have not yet established a motive for the shooting, said Watson, referring to the investigation as an “active, fluid situation.” Watson said that all of the shooting had taken place inside the university’s building, which by this afternoon had been blocked off with police tape as a crowd of about 50 reporters gathered for a police briefing. As reporters watched, police officers lifted the tape to allow three people, all hugging and crying, underneath. Police led them into the building.

Watson said the OPD could confirm that some of the victims were students, but would not yet release any other information about their identities or affiliations. According to a report from the Oakland Tribune, the shooting took place inside of a classroom, and university founder Pastor Jong Kim said the shooter had previously been enrolled there as a nursing student. The OPD has not yet confirmed whether the man in custody had any connection to the university.

Update 3:30 pm: Outside of the police tape, a man who identified himself as Lucas Garcia, an English as a Second Language instructor at Oikos, said he’d been teaching about twenty students in his classroom at 10:30 am when he heard a half dozen gunshots, screams and someone yelling something like “He’s got a gun!” or “There’s a gun.”

At that point, Garcia said, he looked into the hallway and saw it was empty. He did not see a shooter or anyone running, he said. Garica then evacuated everyone from his classroom. “Everyone was confused, scared. We didn’t know what it was,” he said.

Garcia and his students got in their cars and drove to the parking lot of the nearby Wal-Mart, where Garcia spoke with police.

Garcia said the school is small and is especially quiet on Mondays. He estimated that probably fewer than 100 people were on campus today.

The Oikos campus, located on Edgewater Drive in East Oakland, is a Christian college that offers classes in music, theology, nursing, and Asian medicine.

Update: OPD have identified the shooting suspect — you can read this update here. Oakland North will continue to follow this story.

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