Families mark anniversary of Oakland massacre

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Associated Press

Posted on March 31, 2013 at 4:07 PM

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Families of the people killed in a shooting rampage at a small Oakland university last year are remembering their lost loved ones as the one-year anniversary of the massacre approaches.

Seven people were killed in the shooting at Oikos University on April 2, 2012 when authorities say One Goh opened fire.

Investigators say Goh — a former Oikos student — had planned the shooting after becoming angry with school officials over a tuition dispute. He previously had decided to drop out of the school's nursing program.

Wangchen Nyima told the Oakland Tribune http://bit.ly/XxzOhh a bad dream has awakened him almost every night since his sister, Sonam Choedon, was killed in the attack.

He told the newspaper that in his dreams, he sees his sister calling out to him in her native Tibetan. "Cho-cho," she cries out, using the Tibetan word for older brother, "Cho-cho, can I have some pocket money?"

He is rarely able to go back to sleep after the dream, Nyima said.

"I keep thinking, 'Why?'" he said. "I still can't believe that she's gone."

Nyima has spent hours praying for his sister, and will do so again Tuesday with a small group of friends and family, including another sister who flew in from Canada for the memorial, he said.

Goh — a 44-year-old Korean immigrant and former classmate to six of the victims— has pleaded not guilty to the killings. He is confined to a psychiatric hospital after two court-appointed psychiatrists determined that he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and a judge in January found him incompetent to stand trial.

June Lee, executive director of the Korean Community Center of the East Bay, said the shooting traumatized the Korean-American community and emphasized the need for more services.

"The community had no awareness of how to deal with it," she said. "They find it really horrifying. In the Korean community, if you have cancer, people will talk about it. But if you have mental illness, nobody wants to talk about it."

Lia Little, a co-founder of Oikos' nursing program, called school's front desk when news of the shooting broke.

"The phone just rang and rang and rang," said Little, who knew each of the victims, as well as the suspect.

The phone went unanswered because Katleen Ping, a 24-year-old immigrant from the Philippines and prospective nursing student who ran the front desk, already had been shot dead.

Her brother, Kaine Ping, said the loss of his sister has left the family, particularly Ping's 6-year-old son, Kayzzer Bryant, devastated.

On Tuesday, Ping, his parents and his orphaned nephew will visit Katleen's grave.

In April, Oikos will host two memorial concerts — one in Oakland next Saturday and a second in El Dorado Hills on April 13 — to remember the victims.

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