DANVILLE (CBS 5) – The former assistant director of the nursing program at Oikos University said Friday she has been told by Oakland Police that she was the intended target in the mass shooting at the religious vocational school.
Wonja Kim of Danville said she was “shocked” by the news, especially considering she barely knew the gunman.
“I never argued with him … about money or anything,” Kim told CBS 5. “I never even knew he dropped out until after the shooting.”
Kim said she left the university in November and was unaware that suspected gunman, One Goh, had any money problems.
Kim said police informed her this week that Goh asked for Kim by name, and that they believe she was the intended target. But she can’t understand why.
“Maybe he’s crazy,” she said.
Or, she theorized, maybe he was calling out the name of an administrator that could help him negotiate a refund on his tuition; not realizing she had left the school months previously.
“Maybe he thought I was still working there and maybe I had power to help him,” Kim said. “Maybe since he’s a Korean student he thought he could get help from a Korean administrator.”
Seven people were killed and three others wounded in the shooting at the religious vocational school located at 7850 Edgewater Drive.
After surrendering to authorities, Goh was charged Wednesday with seven counts of murder with special circumstances, and three counts of attempted murder.
The 43-year-old Korean national was expected to return to court on April 30, when he was scheduled to enter a plea.
The motive for the shooting is unclear, but Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said it appears Goh wanted his tuition back after he voluntarily left the school last November and that he was targeting an administrator there.
Kim said she was familiar with Goh, first when he was in the nursing assistant program, then last year when she conducted a brief interview with him before he was accepted into the nursing program.
But she was unaware of any behavioral flags. “I got no reports that he was a problem,” she said.
Kim said the first problem she knew of was in a phone call with the current Nursing Director, Ellen Cervellon, following the shooting.
Cervellon informed Kim that Goh had been angry because Cervellon refused to refund his tuition.
“Ellen told me he wanted his money back and she had struggled with him,” Kim said.
Kim said she worked at Oikos university since early 2009, first as a teacher, then as an assistant administrator. She said she had worked at Oikos part time until Cervellon was named Nursing Director in November. Kim said she resigned that same month to help her husband in the family business.
Kim said she was not afraid of the gunman, but is concerned that surviving family members might be upset with her, thinking that perhaps she could have solved his money situation.
“I’m so sad and so shocked about the shooting,” she said. “But I never met with him, and never knew he had a problem.”
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