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Friends Remember Oikos Shooting Victims From Tri-City

Grace Eunhea Kim, 23, of Union City and Lydia H. Sim, 21, of Hayward were among the seven people killed in a violent rampage Monday.

Grace Eunhae Kim was supposed to clock in for work Monday afternoon at in Union City.

While Kim, who also worked at Newark’s , was never late for work, her friends and co-workers prayed for the best as news surfaced of a mass shooting at Oikos University in Oakland.

The 23-year-old Union City resident was a nursing student attending class at the university when a gunman went on a rampage throughout the small campus Monday morning. Seven people died and three were injured.

Among the victims was , 21, of Hayward who had lived in Union City for 11 years and worked at in Newark. 

The other victims were identified as Doris Chibuko, 40, of San Leandro; Sonam Choedon, 33, of El Cerrito; Judith O. Seymore, 53, of San Jose; and Bhutia Tshering, 38, of San Francisco and Kathleen Ping, 24, of Oakland.

When word spread that Kim might have been one of the victims, friends still held onto hope that she was safe.

“A lot of us didn’t want to believe it,” said Alfred Anderson, Kim’s friend and employer at Chaplin’s. “We wanted to wait for some real confirmation.”

Anderson was among hundreds who in Oakland to honor the victims of Monday’s shooting.

Anderson, who had once worked with Kim, said he sought out Kim to work at his restaurant because he wanted her charismatic personality to influence his crew.

“She had so much energy, always laughing. She just had the right attitude,” Anderson said. Kim can be seen in several Facebook videos, being playful, singing and dancing inside and outside of the restaurants she worked at.

It’s that bubbly personality that friends such as Josh Blanca remember most.

“She’s a person that could really make your day,” said Blanca, who had known Kim for 10 years, since the two attended Walters Junior High School in Fremont. She ended up graduating from Foothill High School in Pleasanton.

Blanca heard about the shooting on the radio but didn’t think his friend could have been a victim until he got home and received a call from a friend.

“It hit us hard,” he said.

The same emotion arose within Kirsten Pacis, 21, when she learned about the Sim's death.

The two had been on the tennis team for two years at , where Sim graduated from in 2009.

 “I didn’t believe it,” said Pacis, who said she found out after seeing messages left for Sim on Facebook.

“She was the nicest person. She can walk up next to you, and you’d just smile. She was a happy presence,” Pacis said.

Sim’s brother, Daniel Sim, 19, told the Oakland Tribune, that his sister was "an outgoing and independent girl devoted to her Christian faith, with a passion for taking care of children." (Read the full report here.)

"She was such a loving person. …She didn't deserve to go like that. She didn't deserve to die,” Daniel Sim told the Oakland Tribune.

A memorial service for Lydia Sim will be held at 8 p.m. tonight at the Hayward Korean Baptist Church, 24742 La Playa Court in Hayward.

On Tuesday evening, hundreds gathered for a vigil to remember all the victims of the shooting in Oakland at Allen Temple Baptist Church.

Pastor Jason So of the New Life Mission Church of San Francisco in Fremont said both the Kim and Sim families frequented New Life Mission and Hayward Korean Baptist churches, respectively.

“We came to encourage and love their parents,” So said. “Tragic things happen, but there’s always hope.”

See more remembrances of the two women in the box above. Scroll using the blue bar at the right in the box above to see what others are saying

Editor's note: Authorities have spelled Kim's middle name differently than this report states, which is the spelling she has on her personal Twitter account.


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