By Terry Collins/The Associated Press
OAKLAND, Calif. — A gunman opened fire at a Christian university in California Monday, killing at least seven people and wounding three more, authorities said. Police say they have a suspect in custody.
The shooting erupted around midmorning at Oikos University in Oakland and left six dead, according to City Council President Larry Reid, who said he was told the count by the police chief.
The suspect was taken into custody in the neighboring city of Alameda, according to law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.
Officer Johnna Watson did not give any other details about the suspect.
Authorities earlier described him as a heavyset Korean man in his 40s wearing khaki clothing. “I can confirm that we do have one person who has been detained that we believe is possibly responsible for this shooting,” Watson said.
KTVU-TV reported that the shooter was a student and opened fire in a classroom.
Earlier, television news footage showed a chaotic scene as heavily armed officers swarmed into the building, located in a large industrial park near the Oakland airport. The footage also showed bloodied victims on stretchers being loaded into ambulances. Several bodies covered in sheets were laid out on a patch of grass.
Pastor Jong Kim, who founded the school about 10 years ago, told the Oakland Tribune that the shooter was a nursing student who was no longer enrolled. He did not know if the shooter was expelled or dropped out. Kim said he heard about 30 rapid-fire gunshots in the building.
“I stayed in my office,” he said.
Deborah Lee, who was in an English language class at the time, said she heard five to six gunshots at first. “The teacher said, ‘Run,’ and we run,” she said. “I was OK, because I know God protects me. I’m not afraid of him.”
Angie Johnson told the San Francisco Chronicle that she saw a young woman leave the building with blood coming from her arm and crying: “I’ve been shot. I’ve been shot.”
The injured woman said the shooter was a man in her nursing class who got up and shot one person at point-blank range in the chest before spraying the room with bullets, Johnson said.
“She said he looked crazy all the time,” Johnson said the victim told her, “but they never knew how far he would go.”
Four victims arrived at Highland Hospital for treatment, said spokeswoman Jerri Randrup.
According to its website, Oikos University offers studies in theology, music, nursing and Asian medicine. A telephone message left on the university’s voicemail was not immediately returned.