UCLA shooter Mainak Sarkar had planned to kill another professor: Police

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Jun 03, 2016 07:30 IST
Police identified Mainak Sarkar (above) as the man they say carried out the murder-suicide that took the life of William Klug, a UCLA professor of mechanical engineering. (Facebook)

A gunman who killed himself after fatally shooting a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has been identified as Mainak Sarkar, an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur.

Los Angeles police suspect 38-year-old Sarkar also killed a woman in Minnesota state, where he lived. Her name was on a “kill list” found at Sarkar’s residence.

Sarkar killed professor William Klug, 39, on Wednesday, accusing him of stealing his computer code and giving it to someone else, according to Los Angeles police chief Charlie Beck.

Read | Police identify UCLA gunman as Indian student Mainak Sarkar

Beck told a TV news network on Thursday that Klug, a mechanical and aerospace engineering professor, figured on Sarkar’s “kill list” with another professor and the woman.

The “kill list” left by Sarkar at his Minnesota home led authorities to the woman’s body. Sarkar drove to Los Angeles from Minnesota with two guns and killed Klug before killing himself, Beck said.

The shooting prompted a complete lockdown of the campus and the deployment of hundreds of police officers and federal agents.

The second professor is reported to be safe but no details were offered by the police about the dead woman — her identity, her nationality or when she was killed and where.

The police also gave no other information about Sarkar. According to his LinkedIn page, first reported by Los Angeles Times, he went to IIT-Kharagpur and briefly worked at Infosys.

Read | IIT alumnus, disgruntled student: Who is UCLA gunman Mainak Sarkar?

Klug had helped Sarkar with his dissertation, which he completed in 2013. In the 2014 commencement doctoral booklet, Sarkar thanked the professor for “being my mentor”.

But in his recent social media postings, cited by LA Times, Sarkar seemed extremely angry with Klug who, he said, was a “very sick person” and 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 on March 10.

He added: “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.”

Read | Professor William Klug was developing virtual heart

University sources cited by the Times called Sarkar’s allegations “completely untrue” and said Klug “bent over backward to help Sarkar finish his dissertation and graduate even though the quality of his work was not stellar”.

“Bill (Klug) was extremely generous to this student, who was a subpar student,” the Times quoted a source as saying. “He helped him out and interceded for him academically.”

According to his LinkedIn page, Sarkar was employed as an engineering analyst with an Ohio firm, whose owner described him as a “steady contributor with solid technical skills”.

Sarkar graduated from IIT-Kharagpur in 2000 and worked as a software developer at the tech giant Infosys for a year till 2001, according to his LinedIn page.

It’s not certain when he came to the US but he was a research assistant at the University of Texas from 2002 to 2003, when he enrolled at Stanford University for a masters.

Sarkar worked as a software developer for two years after finishing his masters and joined UCLA as a teaching assistant in mechanical engineering for two years starting 2008.

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