Indian American Nursing Student Survives Mass Shooting

By Monica Luhar, India-West, April 3, 2012

A 19-year-old Indian American United States Army reservist from Santa Clara, Calif., is one of three victims who sustained a gunshot wound during a mass shooting that claimed the lives of seven individuals at a private Christian university in Oakland, Calif., April 2. 

Dawinder Kaur, a nursing student at Oikos University, survived the shooting by a former Oikos student. Kaur was one of many students who were in class when a gunman barged into the room and forced students to line up against a wall and began shooting. The gunman also held a receptionist hostage and later attempted to find a specific school administrator, according to CBS News. A total of five individuals died at the scene and two others were later rushed to the hospital, where they died; three others were injured. 

After returning to the classroom to help a student, Kaur was shot in the right arm near the elbow. She was later admitted to Highland Hospital in Oakland.

The suspect, who has been identified as 43-year-old One L. Goh, from Oakland, is in custody after he entered an Alameda Safeway supermarket and told a customer service representative that he had shot some individuals. 

“It is obviously a tragedy that is kind of hard to predict. I think that Oakland police is working hard to do more in-depth work and find out the reasons for what happened,” District 5 councilmember and vice mayor of the City of Oakland Ignacio De La Fuente told India-West.

“Oakland is a diverse city. The Korean community is one of those communities that have deep roots in Oakland. My heart goes out to not only the families, but the community. We share their pain and will do whatever we can do to deal with the aftermath,” he said. 

Kaur told family members that the gunman was a former student in her nursing class who hadn’t attended class in months, according to NBC Bay Area

She said she had used her cell phone to call her brother, Paul Singh of Santa Clara, and told him that she had been shot. 

According to the Associated Press, Goh, a Korean American, was a former nursing student at Oikos who was expelled in January. 

The university, which was founded in 2004, offers courses in religious studies, music and vocational nursing. The university’s founder and president is Pastor Jongin Kim and Youngkyo Choi as the chairman of the board of directors. The student body comprises less than 100 students, according to AP.

“We deeply mourn the tragic loss of our beloved staff and students. Our hearts go out to those who lost innocent lives and their loved ones,” Oikos University posted on its Web site April 3. 

According to the Press Trust of India, Tshering Rinzing Bhutia, a 38-year-old Sikkimese of San Francisco, Calif., was identified as one of seven victims killed during the rampage. 

India-West’s attempts to contact the Kaur and Bhutia family by press deadline were unsuccessful.

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