- REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
The man who killed a University of California at Los Angeles engineering professor before killing himself has been identified by the Los Angeles Police Department as Mainak Sarkar, NBC Los Angeles has reported.
Sarkar, 38, is also believed to have killed a woman in Minnesota, where he had a residence and legally purchased two semiautomatic pistols – one of which was used to kill 39-year-old UCLA professor William Klug on Wednesday morning.
The identity of the woman killed in Minnesota has not been released, though a neighbor identified her to a local reporter as Ashley Hasti, the Minnesota Star Tribune reported. Hasti was reportedly a student at the University of Minnesota Medical School.
Police searched Sarkar’s residence in Minnesota after finding a note at the UCLA crime scene, which listed Sarkar’s home address in St. Paul along with a request to “check on my cat,” the LA Times reported.
LA police then became suspicious and called on police in Minnesota to search Sarkar’s home.
“In the residence in Minnesota, we found multiple items, including extra ammunition and also a note with names on it indicating a kill list,” LAPD chief Charlie Beck said in a news conference on Thursday.
The list – which included the Minnesota woman, Klug, and another UCLA professor who is safe – apparently ledauthorities to the murdered woman’s home in Brooklyn Park, Beck said.
Sarkar, a former doctoral student at UCLA, apparently drove from Minnesota to Los Angeles in a 2003 Nissan Sentra that has not yet been found.
“We believe that Sarkar came to the Los Angeles area very recently, within the last couple of days,” Beck told reporters at Los Angeles police headquarters on Thursday, according to Reuters. “He went there to kill two faculty from UCLA. He was only able to find one.”
Sarkar wrote on social media months ago that he thought Klug was “a very sick person,” according to the LA Times.
- Via ABC7
“William Klug, UCLA professor is not the kind of person when you think of a professor. He is a very sick person,” Sarkar wrote. “I urge every new student coming to UCLA to stay away from this guy.”
Sarkar apparently thought Klug had given a computer code he had written to someone else; a source told the Times that was an “absolutely psychotic” accusation.
Sarkar’s social media post continued: “Your enemy is my enemy. But your friend can do a lot more harm. Be careful about whom you trust.”
Klug, a father of two, taught mechanical and aerospace engineering at the school. Sarkar was one of two teaching assistants in MAE: 101: Statistics and Strength of Materials, a mechanical and aerospace engineering course, the Times reported, citing a syllabus of the course. Klug also advised Sarkar on his doctoral dissertation in 2014.
Sarkar got his master’s degree at Stanford before enrolling at UCLA, the Times reported, citing Sarkar’s LinkedIn profile. The LinkedIn page now appears to have been taken down.
Classes resumed at UCLA on Thursday – except for inside the Engineering IV building, which is still a crime scene – after the school was on lockdown for most of the day Wednesday. Hundreds of police officers responded to reports of a shooting at about 10 a.m. PT. The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives were also at the scene.
“Our hearts are heavy this evening as our campus family mourns the sudden and tragic deaths of two people on our campus earlier today,” UCLA’s chancellor, Gene Block, said in a statement on Wednesday.
Also on Wednesday, Scott Waugh, UCLA’s executive vice chancellor and provost,said authorities would be “reviewing the locks on the doors among other measures … to ensure our campus is as safe as possible.”
Waugh was referring to themeasures students and faculty apparently tookto secure the doors while the campus was on lockdown.
Photos on social media showed people using belts, desks, chairs, and computer equipment to secure classroom doors that reportedly were not equipped with locks.
“On any given day, there are between 60 and 70 thousand people on campus,” Waugh said, specifying the need to assess the school’s overall safety measures.