DFA helps husband of slain Filipina in US school shooting secure visa
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs is helping the husband of Kathleen Ping-Vicuña secure a US visitor’s visa so he could attend her burial and grant his wish to “see his wife for the last time.”
Raul Hernandez, the DFA spokesman, has assured the government would “do its share in providing the necessary assistance” to Christian Vicuña, whose wife Kathleen was one of seven people killed on April 2 in a school shooting in Oakland, California.
“The victim’s family is currently being assisted by both the Phiippine Consulate in San Francisco and the Bay Area Baptist Church in both visa and burial matters,” Hernandez told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Twenty-four-year old Kathleen. a secretary-receptionist, worked the front desk in the administrative department of the Oikos University, where South Korean-born gunman One Goh took her hostage, then killed her.
Christian, 28, lives in Pangil, Laguna. The former overseas Filipino worker has a pending application with the US Immigration and Naturalization to move to the US.
The young architect used to work in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
According to his father Lauro, Christian is “still very depressed, but we’re confident he would be fit to travel to the US to see his wife and also (four-year-old son) Kayzzer, who is based in Oakland.”
“My son, Ian, would like to attend Kathleen’s funeral and see her for the last time. That’s his personal wish,” he said during a phone interview.
But the older Vicuna. said, “Our top priority now is to have Christian sign the documents authorizing the release of Kathleen’s body from the hospital [in Oakland].”
“Christian is a little apprehensive if he should sign the documents now. He is worried Kathleen’s funeral might proceed even he is still here in the Philippines. We’re giving him time to think things over…Kathleen’s death was a big shock for all of us. But I think my son has accepted the fact that she’s passed and in a better place right now,” Lauro Vicuña added.
According to Hernandez, “the consulate has been in contact with Kathleen’s US-based family. Last Thursday, consulate officials visited them in their residence in East Oakland, California.”
Kathleen’s family “intends to have her buried in the US, and is requesting assistance for [Christian] to be granted a visa to come to the US for humanitarian reasons.”
Christian, however, “will have the final say on where his wife will be buried.”
“The consulate will provide the necessary assistance to any action Kathleen’s husband would like to pursue,” said Hernandez.
The US West Coast mission, he also said, “has been coordinating with US authorities regarding the incident. It has contacted the Alameda Coroner’s office. However, no autopsy has been performed on Kathleen who sustained multiple gunshot wounds.”
Kathleen, the eldest of three children, had been in the US for five years.
A Laguna native like her husband, she was a legal resident and
had a pending application for American citizenship.
The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that Goh was expelled in January from Oikos University, a small Christian school where he was studying nursing.
Goh told police he felt disrespected about his poor English skills at the Oakland school, prompting him to buy a gun.
A few weeks later, he took his revenge, opening fire at the college in a rampage that left six students and Kathleen Vicuña dead and wounded three more.
After planning the attack for weeks, Goh arrived at the school near Oakland’s airport, Oakland police said.
Upon entering the building, he was intent on finding the school’s female administrator who was not there.
Goh then accosted the Filipino receptionist, marching her to a classroom, where he started shooting people. By the time police arrived, five of the victims were already dead. Two others died later in the day at the hospital.
So far, investigators said Goh has not shown any remorse. He appeared to have selected his victims at random and none were his alleged tormentors, police added.