Oikos Considers Making Shooting Site a Memorial

Three weeks after a horrific massacre at a little-known Christian school in Oakland, Oikos University opened its doors for a public tour

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Three weeks after a horrific massacre at a little-known Christian school in Oakland, Oikos University opened its doors for a public tour.

    Acting Chief Operating Officer Jaehoon Moon talked to NBC and showed us around. "It is very difficult," Moon said. "Some of the staff members are having a very difficult time even going to the bathroom."

    The tour comes a day after Oikos re-opened following the April 2 shooting deaths of six nursing students and one receptionist at the Edgewater Drive campus near the airport. Three others were injured in the daylight attack.

    One L. Goh, 43, a former student at Oikos, was arrested hours after one of Oakland's worst shootings in history. Goh apparently was disgruntled when he left the school and didn't get a full tuition reimbursement, police have said.

    The classroom where the killings occurred has been re-painted and re-carpeted. But it isn't being used as a classroom, and may never be used again. The school is considering turning the classroom into a memorial, and also constructing a memorial park outside.

    Despite the tragedy, Moon said  the students and staff are getting through it together.

    They held a memorial service in the school chapel Tuesday morning where students prayed, sang and cried together. The president of the school had planned to speak publicly, but then didn't.

    "Our university's name is Oikos which means family," Moon said. "We wanted to make sure every student knows we have lost our family, we have lost our family members."

    Those killed include students Lydia Sim, 21; Sonam Choedon, 33; Grace Kim, 23; Doris Chibuko, 40; Judith Seymour, 53; Tshering Bhutia, 38; and receptionist Katleen Ping, 24. Three others were injured but survived.

     "All of them were very happy, kind nice people. We were 100 percent sure they would become very nice nurses," Moon said, "who could really devote themselves to the community and do something good for the community."

     Moon said he can't understand why Goh took aim at the students.

    "Every day. Every day since day one question on my mind...why why these nice people?"

    However, Moon says it's time to stop focusing on why and start asking how to move forward. 

    "I believe it's time for us to think how we're going to get through this," Moon said.

    He says the school's staff is committed to staying open and to remembering the victims.

    "We're going to make sure the world and everyone's going to remember them as long as possible," he said.

    As for One Goh, he says it will be difficult to forgive him. "It will be very hard for me, almost impossible to forgive him but I will try."

    He's also aware Goh has refused to eat for three weeks and is reportedly overcome with shame.

    "I feel sad for him but whenever I think about the victims' family and their friends it's hard for me to really feel sorry for him," he said.