Shooting Death of Young Woman in Minnesota Linked to UCLA Attack

A scene from UCLA yesterdayEXPAND
A scene from UCLA yesterday
Ted Soqui/L.A. Weekly

New details are below.

Police today said the shooting death of a young woman in suburban Minneapolis–St. Paul was linked to the murder-suicide that shocked UCLA yesterday.

Authorities in Minnesota conducted investigations and searches of locations associated with shooter Mainak Sarkar and found that deceased woman, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said this morning.

A list found by authorities was a "kill list" that included the names of the Minnesota victim, yet to be named; UCLA professor William Scott Klug, who was killed on campus Wednesday; and another UCLA faculty member who Beck said would not be named.

That professor was not on campus at the time, the chief said.

Police believe Sarkar shot Klug on campus yesterday and then turned a gun on himself to commit suicide. While the violence was contained to an office in the Engineering IV building, Beck said Sarkar was equipped for much more bloodshed.

Detectives found two legally purchased semiautomatic handguns, clips and loose ammunition in a backpack the shooter was carrying, Beck said.

Sarkar graduated from UCLA in 2013 and ended up in Minnesota, he said. "I don't think either of them [the victims] expected to see him," Beck said.

The shootings at UCLA were reported shortly before 10 a.m. yesterday. Initial reports of an active shooter on campus prompted the FBI, LAPD, Beverly Hills police and UCLA police to swarm the locked-down campus.

Beck said a vehicle associated with the shooter was being sought. It was described as a 2003 gray Nissan Sentra with Minnesota license plate 720 KTW. Here's an example of a similar vehicle. If you spot it, call authorities.

While cops don't think anyone is driving it, they believe evidence inside "may help establish motive," the chief said.

UPDATE at 9:48 p.m. Thursday, June 2, 2016: Reports indicate the Minnesota victim had been married to the shooter.

In a personal blog post from March, Sarkar accused the deceased professor of stealing his computer code and giving it to someone else.

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.  ... My name is Mainak Sarkar. I was this guy’s PhD student. We had personal differences. He cleverly stole all my code and gave it another student. He made me really sick. 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.

Los Angeles police say it was the Brooklyn Park Police Department that found the woman's body after being alerted by L.A. authorities to investigate.

It's believed that Sarkar allegedly murdered the woman before driving to Los Angeles to exact revenge on those professors on that "kill list," police said.

UCLA identified Klug, 39, as a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

"Klug, a beloved and committed scholar, conducted life-saving research that also involved colleagues from UCLA’s engineering, science and medical faculty," the school said in a statement. "He specialized in computational biomechanics and the mechanics of biological systems, such as cancer cells."

"Bill was one of the most talented, intelligent and caring people I have ever known, and he made enormous contributions in the field of computational biomechanics," said UCLA professor Jeff Eldredge, who met Klug when they were both doctoral students at Caltech in 1999, the university stated.

Sarkar was a former doctoral student of Klug's.


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