Victims of Calif gunman were young, diverse adults


Salon Staff
April 3, 2012 11:27PM (UTC)

Six students and one employee died when a gunman opened fire at Christian-based Oikos University in Oakland, Calif. Three other people were wounded.

Authorities have yet to release the identities of the victims, but family members have been speaking out about their loved ones, who ranged from 21 to 40 years old and came from Nigeria, Nepal and the Philippines, as well as the United States.

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Here's a look at some of the victims whose identifies have been confirmed.

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Katleen Ping, 24, was called the rock of her family.

The secretary/receptionist worked the front desk in the university's administration department, where the gunman took her hostage then killed her.

She had been working at the school for about seven months to support her family and her 4-year-old son Kayzzer. She had moved from the Philippines to Oakland with her family in 2007.

She shared a home with her parents, brother and two younger sisters. Her husband lives in the Philippines and had been trying to get permission to move to the United States.

Her father, Liberty Ping, said he does not think his daughter knew the person who shot her.

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"She's with the Lord," he said. "She's in a better place right now."

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Lydia Sim, 21, was described as a happy person who always had a smile on her face.

She babysat children at Hayward Baptist Church while attending nursing classes at the university. Daniel Sim said his sister was drawn to the school because of its predominant Korean-American student body, as well as its faith-based teachings.

"She felt a lot more comfortable," he said. "She was really outgoing and really independent."

He said his sister loved children, and children loved being around her.

She was studying for her nursing degree, but her ultimate goal was to attend medical school and become a pediatrician. She had attended Ohlone College in Fremont before transferring to Oikos and was nearing graduation.

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Sim lived at home in Hayward with her parents and brother.

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Friends said Tshering Rinzing Bhutia, 38, was a gentle Buddhist from the Indian state of Sikkim near the Himalayan Mountains. He worked nights as a janitor at San Francisco International Airport and lived alone in the city's North Beach neighborhood.

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The Contra Costa Times said he was killed when the gunman stole his car outside the university.

Prem Singh, his landlord at a residential hotel, said Bhutia attended nursing school classes at Oikos in the morning.


Salon Staff

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