Five years in, and the 48-year-old man accused in the April 2012 killing of seven people at Oikos University in Oakland is finally headed for trial, with a hearing scheduled Wednesday of this week. Korean-born One Goh, who is a naturalized US citizen and was 43 at the time of the shooting, has both admitted to authorities that he was responsible for the mass shooting, and has pleaded not guilty because he blames university officials for what happened. He has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, but after five years of psychiatric treatment and evaluation, a judge ruled Friday that Goh is now mentally fit to stand trial, as the East Bay Times reported.
The fact that a trial is finally moving forward is sure to be a relief to the families of the seven victims, who were told by a judge after a mental competency hearing in 2015 that the trial might eventually occur, but that it would be delayed until Goh's mental state could be better stabilized.
As of 2015, Goh had actively been seeking the death penalty and hoping for a speedy trial, saying that he was looking forward to his own death. But his not guilty plea was because he wanted to be able to lay out in court all the ways in which the school had wronged him.
Shortly after the shooting, we learned that Goh had been mocked by other students and possibly instructors for his poor English language skills at the Korean Christian university, where most graduates study nursing. We also learned that he had been expelled from the school for "behavioral problems," and had returned the day of the shooting to demand a $6,000 tuition refund. As it turned out, the specific administrator he was targeting that day was no longer working at the school, but he instead shot a receptionist in the school office, and proceeded to a classroom where he shot nine of his former classmates, killing a total of seven people. Soon thereafter, and after a brief manhunt, Goh turned himself in in a shopping plaza parking lot in Alameda.
The victims, six women and one man, were: Tshering Rinzing Bhutia, 38, of San Francisco; Katleen Ping, 24, of Oakland; Judith Seymour, 53, of San Jose; Lydia Sim, 21, of Hayward; Sonam Choedon, 33, of El Cerrito; Grace Eunhea Kim, 23, of Union City; and Doris Chibuko, 40, of San Leandro.
Goh was then deemed mentally unfit for trial on multiple occasions over the last five years. Upon initial interrogation, he gave multiple statements about his motivations including "religious war" and suspicions that there had been cheating going on among his classmates. But his unmet demands for the tuition money appear to be the primary reason he showed up at the campus that day.
The small private university, meanwhile, continues to operate in East Oakland.