LOS ANGELES, California — Police found a “kill list” at the Minnesota home of the gunman who opened fire at UCLA on Wednesday, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck told CNN affiliate KTLA-TV.
The name of the UCLA professor killed by gunman Mainak Sarkar was on the list, as was the name of a woman whom police later found dead, Beck said.
“We did a follow-up investigation to that female’s residence in a nearby town in Minnesota and found her deceased by gunshot wound,” Beck said.
UCLA identified the slain professor as William S. Klug.
The police chief said “a dispute over intellectual property” was tied to the UCLA shooting.
“Everybody tries to look for a reason for this. Well, first of all, there is no good reason for this,” Beck told KTLA. “This is a mental issue, mental derangement, but it was tied to a dispute over intellectual property.”
Sarkar felt the professor he killed had released information “that harmed him,” Beck told the station. “UCLA says this is absolutely not true. This is the workings of his imagination.”
Police searching for vehicle
Sarkar, a 2013 Ph.D. graduate of the UCLA School of Engineering, had been living in Minnesota but drove to the Los Angeles area with two handguns and multiple rounds of ammunition, Beck told the CNN affiliate.
He went to his former professor’s fourth-floor office Wednesday and shot him dead with multiple rounds, then committed suicide, Beck said. The shooting sent the campus on lockdown for hours, leaving students shaken.
Investigators who rushed to the scene found a note, according to the police chief.
“The note at UCLA said to ask for the finder to check on his cat in Minnesota. So we checked in (on) his cat in Minnesota at his residence. Actually we did a search warrant at his residence,” Beck told KTLA.
That’s where investigators found the kill list, Beck said.
Another UCLA professor’s name was on the list, according to the police chief. That professor was unharmed.
Authorities aren’t releasing the slain Minnesota woman’s name for now, Beck said, since investigators haven’t completed identification of notifying next of kin.
Police are searching for the gray 2003 Nissan Sentra Sarkar drove from Minnesota to California, Beck told KTLA.
Inside, the police chief said, “there will be evidence that will help us unravel this.”
‘Our hearts are heavy’
Sarkar is listed on a website for Klug’s research group at UCLA, and an online abstract of his dissertation lists Klug as his adviser.
The professor was described as an easygoing Little League coach, according to one friend, and an “an empathetic, brilliant teacher” as California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom put it.
Klug’s friend fought back tears as he described the father of two to CNN affiliate KCBS-TV.
“It’s hard to even fathom,” Lance Giroux said. “To have your son grow up without a dad, it’s rough.”
The professor was a proud coach of his young son’s baseball team, friends told KCBS.
“(He was) always very positive. Kids loved working with him because he was such an easy coach to work with,” Giroux said.
The shooting shocked the student body.
“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 Wednesday. “Our UCLA family has indeed been shaken, but we will rely upon the strong bonds of our community and our faith in one another as we begin the process of healing.”
Los Angeles police said it got a call about the shooting around 10 a.m. PT.
Officials put the campus on lockdown as authorities investigated. Throngs of police with long guns patrolled the streets of the campus of more than 40,000 students.
SWAT officers and dozens of squad cars filled the area as police tried to clear campus buildings floor by floor — a task that CNN law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes called “monumental.”
UCLA’s engineering building is in the middle of a densely populated part of Los Angeles.
The situation was contained shortly after noon, the police chief said. He said the shooting took place in a small office in the engineering building.
It was a jarring, tense time for the university’s students. To protect themselves, some blocked doors with printers, according to a picture on Twitter.
Freshman Teddi Mattox said she was in a cafeteria getting breakfast along with about 100 other students when the shooting occurred.
“We got the alert and a woman said, ‘This is not a joke, everyone get to the back of the dining hall because we have to stay away from the windows,’ ” she said.
UCLA officials said they will review all campus safety procedures.
“We’re pleased in the way notification went out, troubled by some reports of unlocked doors, but we want to review everything,” said Scott Waugh, UCLA’s executive vice chancellor and provost.
UCLA also extended counseling services over the next few days to serve all the students who may be in need, Waugh said.
The university’s final exams are scheduled for next week, with graduation set for Friday.
The engineering school’s senior class dinner was scheduled for Thursday night.
Classes were expected to resume for most of the university Thursday. At the engineering school, where the shooting occurred, classes will resume Monday, officials said.
Professor studied ‘interface’ of mechanics, biology
Klug is listed as a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering on UCLA’s website. He received his undergraduate degree at Westmont College, then obtained a master’s degree at UCLA and a Ph.D. from Caltech.
He also led the Klug Research Group, which studied “problems at the interface of mechanics and biology.”
“We aim to understand how the physical properties of biological structures and materials are involved in biological function from molecular and cellular scales upward,” the group’s website says.