Tragedy at Oikos University

by alex lee

School Shooting in Oakland, The Oikos University Story

At Oikos University, April 2nd will be remembered as the day a lone gunman by the name of One Goh shot and killed seven people, while injuring three more. What should have been a normal day for students at Oikos University soon became the biggest school shooting seen since the Virginia Tech incident in 2007.

So why Oikos University? It’s a small South Korean Christian college that prepares students for careers in nursing, while also teaching courses in music, Asian medicine and English as a second language, though the school has recently had issues with accreditation.

As it turns out, Goh was a nursing student at Oikos University before he was kicked out several months ago for general misbehavior and anger management issues. His return to the school was a search for the administrative official who expelled him, but when Goh could not find her, he proceeded to shoot students in the classroom nearest to him, having them line up and killed if they refused. By the time the police arrived, five were already dead and two more would die later in a hospital. Six of his seven victims were female.

Currently, the crime is seen as motivated by Goh’s inability to get along with the women on campus. In a school where both students and faculty are predominantly female, Goh did not feel like he fit in, and he felt mistreated and disrespected when the other female students ridiculed his poor English skills. Even officials noted how he simply could not deal with women in general. Alone and isolated, Goh felt no community connection with the other students, and when he was forced to leave at the behest of a female official, Goh decided he had enough.

It doesn’t help that Goh has also had a troubled past even before coming to California. In his previous state of Virginia, Goh collected over $23,000 in debt before being evicted from his apartment. In the course of a year, he also lost a brother in an auto wreck and his mother who moved back to Seoul after leaving Oakland. Still, none of these are justifications for why a man should feel the need to buy a gun and solve his issues violently.

Though Goh may have been mentally unstable, not feeling included in the community compounded with the emotional turmoil of losing two family members within a year could only have exacerbated his instability. This shooting is yet another reason why society should be considering proactive safeguards against this kind of lashing out. Taking time to recognize the problem in its early stages and counseling people who aren’t doing well socially could all be utilized so that people like One Goh and the Virginia Tech gunman could at least learn to get along with their peers, rather than be exiled only to return later with hate and a gun.

Society doesn’t need any successors to the Virginia Tech and Oikos University shootings, but if nothing is done to change how we treat people at high risk of acting violently, then this will not be the last we hear about a tragic school shooting.