New Details Emerge About Gunman in Murder-Suicide on UCLA Campus

Authorities are investigating the death of a potential second victim after finding the gunman’s suspected ‘kill list’ that included the name of a woman in Minnesota and two UCLA professors.

Police have confirmed more details about the former graduate student who killed a professor on campus in a murder-suicide at UCLA June 1.

Investigators discovered a “kill list” in the Minnesota residence of gunman Mainak Sarkar that led police to a deceased woman, who was reportedly on the list and whose death is being treated as a homicide.

The LA Times reports that the UCLA murder-suicide that left 39-year-old Professor William Klug dead occurred in a small office of the university’s Engineering IV building. A 9mm semi-automatic pistol was recovered at the scene along with a note. “The note at UCLA said to ask for the finder to check on [Sarkar’s] cat in Minnesota. So we checked in (on) his cat in Minnesota at his residence. Actually we did a search warrant at his residence,” LAPD Chief Charlie Beck told CNN.

Police say Sarkar, who graduated the UCLA School of Engineering in 2013, drove from Minnesota to Los Angeles with two handguns and multiple rounds of ammunition with the intention of killing Klug, who Sarker thought he had “a dispute over intellectual property” with. UCLA officials have described Sarkar’s dispute as “the workings of his imagination” and Chief Beck reiterated that sentiment.

“First of all, there is no good reason for this,” Beck told a CCN affiliate. “This is a mental issue, mental derangement, but it was tied to a dispute over intellectual property.”

Another professor at the university who has not been identified was also on Sarkar’s kill list, although that professor was unharmed in the shooting.

The 10 a.m. PT shooting sparked a campus-wide emergency alert that instructed students to remain in their classrooms unless told to leave by police. Chief Beck announced that the campus was safe after the lockdown was lifted at 12:05 p.m. PT.

Problems with doors on the campus during the lockdown prompted a subsequent university review of safety and lockdown procedures. The problems, which included doors not locking or opening outward, forced many sheltering students to improvise, and some of those contraptions were tweeted out during the lockdown (seen in the slideshow). The makeshift barricades included belts, printers, chairs and a foosball table according to CBS News. Campus Safety has run multiple stories on tips for effective door hardware during lockdowns.

Following reports of the shooting, UCLA police, LAPD, SWAT and many ambulances were on campus and the city of Los Angeles was put on tactical alert at 10:30 a.m. local time. UCLA Police Chief James Herren confirmed that “hundreds” of police officers responded to the shooting.

“In this day and age…we would much rather respond in an abundance of caution,” LAPD spokesman Andy Neiman said of the police response.

As students fled other buildings on the UCLA campus, police asked them to put their hands up and in some cases conducted searches. As authorities swept the campus they asked for witnesses to the shooting to gather more information.

Lockdowns were also issued at nearby Warner Elementary School, Fairburn Avenue Elementary School, Emerson Middle School and Marymount High School.

Professor Klug was a mechanical engineering professor, a husband and father of two young children.

Campus Safety will continue to report on this story as more information is confirmed.

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About the Author


Zach Winn is a journalist living in the Boston area. He was previously a reporter for Wicked Local and graduated from Keene State College in 2014, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in journalism and minoring in political science.

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