UCLA Shooter Identified as Mainak Sarkar, Had ‘Kill List’ at Minnesota Home Where Dead Woman Was Found
The shooter of the June 1 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) murder-suicide has been identified as Mainak Sarkar. Officials also say he killed a woman in Minnesota.
Sarkar, 38, shot and killed mechanical engineering professor William Klug in an office before turning the gun on himself.
Sarkar was born on June 16, 1977, the LAPD said on Twitter. He was a former doctoral student at the school, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing police.
The shooter is a resident of Minnesota, and had killed a woman in a small town in that state, police said. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said the woman was found dead.
Authorities also found a “kill list” in Sarkar’s home, which named a second UCLA professor.
The shooter had been lashing out on Klug on social media for months. On March 10, Sarkar called Klug a “very sick person” who should not be trusted.
“William Klug, UCLA professor is not the kind of person when you think of a professor. He is a very sick person. I urge every new student coming to UCLA to stay away from this guy,” Sarkar wrote. “He made me really sick. Your enemy is my enemy. But your friend can do a lot more harm. Be careful about whom you trust,” said Sarkar, according to the Los Angeles Times.
However, in his 2013 doctoral dissertation, the shooter was grateful for Klug’s help and support.
A syllabus from 2010 shows Sarkar as one of two teaching assistants in a mechanical and aerospace engineering course, MAE: 101: Statics and Strength of Materials.
Sarkar was listed in the 2014 doctoral commencement booklet with the victim as his advisor.
“Thank you for being my mentor,” Sarkar wrote.
Those who knew the professor said he was a kind and patient person with no indication that he had problems with anyone.
Klug was a married father of two, according to officials and friends.
“He’s a great guy, great father, great husband,” said Peter Gianusso, president of the El Segundo Little League and a friend of the victim.
He said Klug coached his 10-year-old son’s team and spent many hours on the field with kids in the league.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) June 2, 2016
“Today there’s a hole in the heart of El Segundo Little League,” Gianusso said.
“They really can’t believe it because Bill was one of the kindest, most light-hearted, quiet person that you’d ever meet. Just a great nice guy all around and to meet his death in such a tragic and horrific manner, is just shocking and unbelievable,” he added.
Colleagues and students of Klug at UCLA were also grieving over the loss of the professor.
“I just can’t believe it,” Charles Knobler, a biology and chemistry professor who knew Klug for 10 years, told The Associated Press.
“I never, ever thought Bill Klug would have been the person who was involved. It’s beyond belief that someone did this,” said Knobler who added that he just had lunch with Klug last week.
“He’s a very lively, lovable, likable guy,” he said.
Jim Gimzewski, another colleague of Klug, was in tears talking to AP about the professor, saying he was a “kind, gentle soul with a brilliant mind.”
“He’s such a young professor. He was just very kind and respectful,” Gimzewski said.
“I could never have guessed that this would happen to him. It’s just so tragic.”
— Gina Silva (@ginasilvafox11) June 2, 2016
Klug was researching computational biomechanics. He and other worked on developing computer models to study such things as the protein shells of viruses and the contraction of the human heart.
Some viruses, for example, change their shape as they mature and become infectious.
“He was trying to discover how that happened,” said Alex Levine, a physics and biochemistry professor who collaborated with Klug and was his friend for a decade, according to AP.
“I was shocked and I’m still shocked. I’m devastated to lose a friend and a colleague,” Levine said.
The Los Angeles mayor released a statement after the shooting saying, “This horrific event, at an institution dedicated to learning and mutual understanding, reminds us once again of the fragility of a peaceful society.”
“Thankfully, the campus is now safe—but I am heartbroken by the sight of SWAT teams running down avenues normally filled with students, and angered by the fear that one person with a firearm can inflict on a community. I want to commend the entire UCLA community for its extraordinary grace and calm on a traumatic morning,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Classes continued on June 2 except for the engineering department, which will resume next week. UCLA is also offering counseling for students, faculty, and staff, the institution said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.