OAKLAND -- Witnesses described a panicked scene after a shooting suspect opened fire in a classroom at an East Oakland private university Monday morning, killing at least six and wounding several more.
Police would not confirm the total number of casualties from the shooting at Oikos University on Edgewater Drive, but said that a suspect had been arrested at Alameda's South Shore Center.
A witness to the suspect's arrest, outside Safeway, said he was calm as police took him into custody. Lisa Resler, 41, said she was leaving the Alameda store with her daughter when she saw a young Asian man with a beanie being confronted by store security. She described him as being "very sedated" as he was handcuffed.
After the shooting, which erupted at 10:23 a.m., people fled the building, located in business park area near the Oakland airport.
Some of the wounded were treated at the scene by emergency crews, others taken away by ambulances and at least four of the dead were covered with tarps on a grassy area near the school. Other students and staff of the school were evacuated by SWAT officers from the building at 7850 Edgewater Drive after the shooting.
Some witnesses outside the school when it happened said that a victim who had fled the building told them the shooter was in the classroom, stood up and shot another student in the chest, and then opened fire on the rest of the classroom.
Students and teachers throughout the building heard the shots, said Lucas Garcia, who has taught English at Oikos for three years.
"We heard many gunshots," he said. "Everybody was scared, obviously."
Students panicked and ran from the building when the shooting started, said Nam Gong Kyun, a 52-year-old English student from Korea.
The school offers degrees in religious, musical and nursing fields, according to its website.
Pastor Jong Kim, who founded the school about 10 years ago, said the shooter had previously been a nursing student at Oikos but was no longer enrolled. He was unsure whether the shooter had been expelled or dropped out voluntarily.
Kim did not see the shooting but heard about 30 gunshots. "I stayed in my office," he said, imitating the sound of rapid shots.
A man who requested anonymity who works in information technology for the Superior Court of California, with offices just across from the shooting scene, said, "A few people inside (our building) heard shots, and then there was a huge crowd outside."