WESTWOOD (CBSLA.com) — A former UCLA graduate student killed a woman in Minnesota before driving to the Westwood campus, where he fatally shot a young professor he once called a mentor then killed himself, police said Thursday.
Chief Charlie Beck said Mainak Sarkar, 38, had a ‘kill list’ at his Minnesota home with the names of William Klug, another UCLA professor and a woman.
Sarkar intended to kill a second professor Wednesday morning, but could not find him on campus, Beck said.
The entire campus was placed on lockdown and Los Angeles police were put on a citywide tactical alert.
Students barricaded themselves in classrooms while police investigated the possibility of an active shooter and searched for any additional victims.
According to LAPD Capt. Andy Neiman, Sarkar used a 9-millimeter semi-automatic pistol to shoot Klug in his office.
He said the woman was found shot dead in her home in a Minneapolis suburb.
CBS affiliate WCCO in Minneapolis reported the victim was Ashley Hasti, who married Sarkar on June 14, 2011, according to the Hennepin County Clerk’s Office.
Police now want the public’s help with locating his vehicle.
Sarkar is listed on a UCLA website as a member of a computational biomechanics research group run by the victim, a professor of biomechanical engineering.
KNX 1070’s Margaret Carrero reported university students located a blog post which appears to have been written by Sarkar on March 10, accusing Klug of stealing his computer code and giving it to another person.
The blog, posted in March by a man identifying himself as Sarkar, said he and Klug had personal differences and accused Klug of stealing Sarkar’s intellectual property and giving it to another student, adding, “he made me really sick.”
It ended with: “Your enemy is your enemy. But your friend can do a lot more harm. Be careful about whom you trust.”
A source told the Los Angeles Times that the gunman’s claims about Klug were “absolutely untrue.”
“The idea that somebody took his ideas is absolutely psychotic,” the source said, adding that Klug bent over backwards to help Sarkar finish his dissertation and graduate even though the quality of his work was not stellar.
“Bill was a super nice guy,” the source said. “He didn’t want to hurt the guy.”
In his doctoral dissertation, submitted in 2013, Sarkar expressed gratitude to Klug for his help and support, The Times reported.
Sarkar has had no apparent criminal history, according to CBS News.
Campus operations returned to normal Thursday with the exception of engineering classes, which will remain cancelled for the remainder of the week.
Klug was married with two children, ages 9 and 7. “During this extremely difficult time for our family, we are grateful for the tremendous outpouring of support,” Klug’s wife, Mary Elise Klug, said in a statement released through UCLA. “This is an indescribable loss. Bill was so much more than my soulmate. I will miss him every day for the rest of my life. Knowing that so many others share our family’s sorrow has provided a measure of comfort.”