WESTWOOD—On Friday, June 3, the Los Angeles Police Department found the vehicle of UCLA shooting suspect, Mainak Sarkar, in Culver City, according to KTLA. Inside the trunk of the vehicle were several containers of gasoline and a handgun.
Authorities had found a bus transfer from Culver City on Sarkar which led them to locating the vehicle. A bicyclist had spotted the car and the bomb squad arrived to investigate even though there was no indication that Sarkar had access to explosives. Matt Blake, chief of detectives for the LAPD said they didn’t want to take any chances as they swept the vehicle.
Authorities believe that the gasoline containers were not meant for nefarious purposes, but were used to refuel the vehicle on Sarkar’s drive from Minnesota to UCLA, so he did not have to stop at gas stations and avoid being tracked by the police. Capt. William Hayes, of the LAPD robbery homicide division, said they have not found anywhere Sarkar stayed along the way.
Prior to the murder of Professor William Klug, 39, at UCLA on Wednesday, June 1, Sarkar’s wife, Ashley Hasti, was found shot to death in a Brooklyn Park in a suburb of Minneapolis. Sarkar is also a suspect in his wife’s death after an alleged “hit list” was found in his Minnesota residence.
A license plate reader spotted the vehicle in Denver the day before the UCLA shooting. This gives the police a better timeline of the two incidents Sarkar is a suspect in. The vehicle is a silver 2003 Nissan Sentra with Minnesota license plate number 720KTW.
The vehicle was found in the 11300 block of Washington Place just south of Sawtelle Boulevard. Around 2:30 p.m. the streets were blocked in the area and multiple patrol cars were at the scene during the investigation.
Sarkar drove from Minnesota to California with two semi-automatic handguns, multiple rounds of ammunition and several magazines. There is no evidence that he committed crimes along the way, but authorities are still investigating.
A note was left at the scene of his wife Hasti’s death urging authorities to check on the cat at Sarkar’s residence. At his residence, authorities found several rounds of ammunition, a ballistic vest and prescription medication.
Investigators have not been able to find a “trigger event” for the shootings. Three months prior to the shooting of Klug, Sarkar posted a tirade about the professor on social media. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said Klug may have been killed because of “a dispute over intellectual property.”
Klug was a former professor of Sarkar who graduated from UCLA in 2013. There was a second UCLA professor who was on Sarkar’s “hit list” who was not on campus at the time of the shootings.
Klug was killed in his fourth floor office in the UCLA campus before Sarkar turned the gun on himself. A vigil was held on the campus Thursday, June 2, where over a thousand people attended, according to the UCLA Newsroom. Klug was an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. He leaves behind a wife, Mary Elise Klug, and two children, ages 7 and 9.