Los Angeles: Mainak Sarkar, the Indian-American gunman who shot dead his former college professor in California before turning the gun on himself, drove over 3,200 km to kill his mentor after murdering his wife and had another faculty member on his hit list, police said. Sarkar, 38, killed his wife Ashley Hasti at her Minnesota home, before driving to the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) to shoot his former professor William Klug. The former doctoral student left a list at his home in Minnesota that included the names of the woman, UCLA professor Klug and a second professor who is safe, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said. Sarkar shot Klug multiple times in a small office in the Engineering Building of the UCLA on Wednesday before taking his own life, authorities said.
Hasti was found dead of a gunshot wound at her home in the small Minnesota town of Brooklyn Park. Hennepin County Vital Records confirmed that Hasti was married to Sarkar on June 14, 2011. It was unclear if they remained married at the time of the shooting, the Los Angeles Times reported. Beck said Sarkar had plans to kill another UCLA faculty member, but could not do so as he was not able to find him. The faculty member, whose name was not revealed by police, is safe. “We believe that he went to kill two faculty from UCLA. He was only able to locate one,” Beck said yesterday. He said police found an extra box of ammunition in his Minnesota home. According to the LAPD chief, Sarkar arrived at the UCLA campus “heavily armed”. “He had a backpack, two semiautomatic pistols and extra magazines. It looks like he was certainly prepared to engage multiple victims,” Beck told reporters.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is assisting the Los Angeles Police Department in its investigation. In a blog post, Sarkar, an IIT Kharagpur graduate, had accused Klug 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,” Sarkar wrote. “I urge every new student coming to UCLA to stay away from this guy. 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,” he wrote. Local media quoted several university officials and students as saying that Sarkar’s allegation was not true. “UCLA says there is no truth to this,” Beck told reporters in response to a question. Klug graduated from Westmont in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science in engineering physics, completed a master’s degree at UCLA and a doctorate at CalTech. He was an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at UCLA. PTI
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