One Goh, the man charged with killing seven people at a small Christian college in California, has gone on hunger strike, authorities report. He has lost nearly 20 pounds since April 3, when he was taken into custody.
Sheriff's office spokesman Sgt. J.D. Nelson told Inside Bay Area that he believes Goh has sipped water and milk but refuses to eat. "He has the right not to eat," Nelson explained. "We can't force him to eat."
Nelson also stated that Goh could be refusing food because of shame. Several inmates told authorities that Goh had spoken to them about his feelings in the aftermath of the April 2 shooting that left seven dead. Goh apparently opened fire on his peers after years of being picked on and rejected by them.
In an interview with KPIX-TV, Goh apologized for the shooting. "I only remember parts of that day, and it is too hard to talk about," he said. Now he could face the death penalty. He is expected to enter a plea of guilty when he faces a judge on Monday, April 30.
Goh has been moved to the prison's infirmary due to his refusal to eat. Authorities have said they are concerned for his well-being since he is going on three weeks without food. Staff are monitoring Goh's vitals and will intervene with IVs should Goh lose consciousness.
"This is not a situation where it's a hunger strike," Nelson told reporters. "He's not protesting anything. You sit around and you look at those walls and you feel shame and you are not hungry."
"A lot of people who are facing serious charges come in to Santa Rita jail and don't eat… What is uncommon is this has now lasted three weeks," Nelson said.
According to the Center for Clinical Interventions, Starvation Syndrome can set in when the body is deprived of necessary calories. Effects of Starvation Syndrome can include "decrease in comprehension, loss in concentration, and depression."