LOS ANGELES (CBSNewYork/AP) — A former UCLA graduate student killed a woman in Minnesota before carrying two semi-automatic pistols and a grudge back to the Los Angeles campus, where he fatally shot a young professor he once called a mentor then killed himself, police said Thursday.
The attack came after Mainak Sarkar, 38, had composed a “kill list” with the names of the woman and two UCLA professors, police Chief Charlie Beck said.
When authorities searched Sarkar’s home in Minnesota, they found a “kill list” with the names of Klug, another UCLA professor and a woman, Beck said, adding that the woman was found shot dead in her home in a nearby Minnesota town. The other professor on the list is all right.
Los Angeles authorities said Sarkar went to the UCLA campus to kill two professors. Beck said the second professor was off campus Wednesday at the time of the shooting.
Police in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, said they found the woman early Thursday when Los Angeles police asked them to conduct a welfare check at a local address in connection with the UCLA murder-suicide investigation.
CBS News identified the woman as Ashley Hasti, Sarkar’s wife. The two married in 2011. CBS News reports it is not known if the couple was still married at the time of the shooting as she was living at a different address than him at the time of her death.
PHOTOS: UCLA Shooting
On Wednesday, Sarkar used a 9mm semi-automatic pistol to kill Klug and himself inside an engineering building office on the campus in Westwood, California, sources told CBS News.
Beck said it appears mental issues were involved and says Sarkar’s dispute with Klug appears to be tied to Sarkar thinking the professor released intellectual property that harmed Sarkar. Sources tell CBS News Sarkar had a blog post in which he criticized the professor.
“He cleverly stole all my code and gave it (to) another student,” the post said. “He made me really sick.”
It continued: “Your enemy is your enemy. But your friend can do a lot more harm. Be careful about whom you trust. Stay away from this sick guy.”
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.
Police are asking the public’s help to find the car Sarkar drove to Los Angeles, a 2003 Nissan Sentra with the license plate of 720KTW.
UCLA’s 419-acre campus was on lockdown for hours after gunfire was reported around 10 a.m. PT Wednesday. The university has more than 43,000 students enrolled and it’s also finals week on campus.
Students in nearby buildings posted photos online as they barricaded their classroom doors. Chopper video showed students exiting buildings with their hands on their heads as a line of student knelt on the ground.
Those locked down inside classrooms described a nervous calm. Some said they had to rig the doors closed with whatever was at hand because they would not lock.
Scott Waugh, an executive vice chancellor and provost, said the university would look into concerns about doors that would not lock. Overall, he said, the response was smooth.
“Our primary goal right now is to review all of our security procedures,” Waugh said.
Sarkar and Klug were once close. In his 2013 dissertation about using engineering to understand the human heart, the student thanked the professor “for all his help and support. Thank you for being my mentor.”
Authorities believe Sarkar drove to Los Angeles from Minnesota in the past few days with two handguns he legally bought in Minnesota and with ammunition. Police working to find that car sought the public’s help, saying it was a 2003 Nissan Sentra with the license plate of 720KTW.
With the guns and ammunition Sarkar carried, “he could have caused many more fatalities than the one,” Beck said.
At Sarkar’s apartment building in St. Paul, the only people who would open their doors Thursday said they didn’t know their neighbor and that police had been there Wednesday night.
Sarkar’s LinkedIn page shows he obtained a master’s degree at Stanford University after graduating in 2000 from the Indian Institute of Technology at Kharagpur with a degree in aerospace engineering.
He most recently was listed as an engineering analyst at a Findlay, Ohio, company called Endurica. Company president Will Mars said Sarkar left in August 2014.
It’s unclear what he had been doing since.
Colleagues and friends described Klug, 39, as a kind, devoted family man and teacher who coached youth baseball in his adopted hometown of El Segundo and didn’t appear to have conflicts with anyone. He is survived by his wife and two children, a 9-year-old boy and 7-year-old girl.
“Bill was an absolutely wonderful man, just the nicest guy you would ever want to meet,” said Alan Garfinkel, a biology and physiology professor who worked with Klug to build a computer model of a “virtual heart” that researchers could use to test drugs without harming anyone.
Fellow mechanical and aerospace engineering professor Jeff Eldredge met Klug 17 years ago when they were doctoral students at Caltech, and they joined the UCLA faculty on the same day.
“I had looked forward to us growing into old grouchy professors together,” Eldredge said.
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