(Photo: Reuters/Stephen Lam)
"Only God can create something good out of this" was the message that over 800 members of the Oakland community gathered at a memorial service Tuesday evening prayed as they remember the victims killed in Monday's shooting at Oikos University, a private Christian school which specializes in integrating Korean students into American life.
Students, family members, and members of the community gathered at Allen Temple Baptist Church in East Oakland Tuesday evening to pray for the departed and their families. Many carried candles, while others hugged each other and cried, mourning over the six students and one receptionist who were killed Monday morning at around 10:40 a.m.
A moment of silence was also held during the memorial service, the sermon of which echoed the theme of community support.
"Only God knows the meaning of the suffering we endure," the university's vice president, Dr. Woo Nam Soo, said in Korean during the memorial church service, according to CBS News.
"In this unbearable tragedy and suffering, only God can create something good out of it," he added.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the multi-ethnic crowd which gathered for the memorial service included immigrants from Korea, Nigeria, and Nepal.
At a press conference held before the service, the Rev. J. Alfred Smith, Jr. of Allen Temple Baptist Church told reporters that violence in Oakland needs to stop, and the community needs to come together for prayer and reflection.
"The city of Oakland is a multi-cultural interracial city," Smith said, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.
"If any member bleeds, all of us bleed. If any member weeps, all of us weep. We feel the hurt and pain of the community," he added.
One L. Goh, a 43-year-old former student of the university, opened fire at students and administrators at the school Monday morning, killing six students and one receptionist in an execution style attack, telling them "I'm going to kill you all."
Police authorities say Goh was seeking revenge on one female administrator, as he was upset for being expelled from the university earlier that year.
After opening fire on the students in a classroom, Goh fled the scene and was apprehended by authorities at a grocery store three miles from the school.
He was allegedly made fun of for his poor English skills, and felt that he was disrespected as an older student at the small, one story university.
As Oakland City Police Chief Howard Jordan told CNN News, Goh "does not appear to be remorseful at all" regarding the shooting.
Goh is expected to hear his charges, which will most likely include murder and kidnapping, in court later Wednesday afternoon.