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Professor killed by Indian student in UCLA was developing virtual heart

Professor William Klug, identified as one of the victims in the murder-suicide shooting incident at University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) campus on Wednesday morning worked with a team to develop a computer-generated virtual heart, media reports said.

world Updated: Jun 02, 2016 20:38 IST
Thirty-nine-year-old Klug was associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering
Thirty-nine-year-old Klug was associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering(UCLA)


Professor William Klug, identified as one of the victims in the murder-suicide shooting incident at University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) campus on Wednesday morning worked with a team to develop a computer-generated virtual heart, media reports said.

Thirty-nine-year-old Klug was associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering who studied the interaction between mechanics and biology. He was married with two young children.

According to multiple media reports, a UCLA student -- reportedly upset about his grades -- fatally shot Klug and then turned the gun on himself. He was later identified as the gunman as Mainak Sarkar, an engineering student at the school.

While KTTV and the Los Angeles Daily News reported that the gunman may have been a graduate student, KNX radio, citing a law enforcement source, reported that the gunman was “despondent” about his grades.

“I am absolutely devastated,” Alan Garfinkel, professor of integrative biology and physiology who worked with Klug to develop a computer-generated virtual heart, was quoted as saying by the Los Angeles Times.

“You cannot ask for a nicer, gentler, sweeter and more supportive guy than William Klug,” Garfinkel added.

Klug earned his under-graduate degree in engineering physics from Westmont College in 1997, his Master’s in civil engineering at UCLA in 1999 and his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from California Institute of Technology in 2003.

Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) chief Charlie Beck confirmed two men were dead in the murder-suicide incident and a gun was found at the scene.

The shooting happened shortly before 10 a.m. in Boelter Hall, which is part of the Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, according to the university.

Shortly, the entire campus was placed under lockdown. About an hour after the shooting was reported, police confirmed two dead people were found inside a small room of the engineering building.

“Our hearts are heavy this evening as our campus family mourns the sudden and tragic deaths of two people on our campus earlier today,” said Chancellor Gene Block in an email to the UCLA community.

“The thoughts and prayers of our entire UCLA family are with the victims’ families and the students, faculty and staff of UCLA Engineering,” he added.

The deaths were under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.