ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — The shooter who killed a UCLA professor Wednesday before turning the gun on himself is also the suspect in another homicide that police believe occurred before the campus shooting, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck said Thursday.
Police identified the gunman as former UCLA student Mainak Sarkar. Beck said that Sarkar, who graduated with a PhD from the school in 2013, was “heavily armed.”
Investigators found two semi-automatic guns on him at the scene of the crime, and both were legally purchased.
Sarkar had a note on him that requested that whoever found the note check on his cat, and then it listed his Minnesota address.
Sarkar graduated from UCLA with a PhD in 2013 and Beck said Thursday that police believe he had driven to Los Angeles in “the last couple of days” before the shooting on Wednesday.
When police searched his home, they found a list with three names: two UCLA professors and one woman who lived in Minnesota. One of the professors, William Klug, was fatally shot by Sarkar but the other was off campus and was unharmed.
The woman, whose name has not been publicly released, was found dead of a gunshot wound in her Minnesota residence in a town near St. Paul, where Sarkar lived.
Brooklyn Park police in Minnesota said Thursday that they were notified by the LAPD and asked to go check on someone in relation to the UCLA shooting.
“Upon arrival, officers located one adult female deceased from an apparent gunshot wound. Early indications are the shooting occurred prior to the UCLA event,” the Brooklyn Park police said in a statement.
In Klug’s slaying, investigators are focusing on Sarkar’s grades and what was described as a longer-standing poor relationship between the two men. The LAPD said it believes Klug was Sarkar’s teacher.
The second professor whose name was on the “kill list” was aware that “Sarkar had issues with him,” Beck said, but didn’t believe it reached “the level of homicide.”
“I don’t think either of them expected to see him,” Beck said of the two professors.
UCLA confirmed that Sarkar earned his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the school and attended UCLA as a graduate student from the fall of 2007 until the summer of 2013, when he received his degree.
Klug joined the UCLA faculty in 2003 and headed an eponymous research group that studied theoretical and computational biomechanics. The school said he is survived by a wife and their two children.
Investigators worked through the night to understand what happened and why. Beck said Thursday that Sarkar’s motive may be connected to a dispute over intellectual property, which UCLA has denied.
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