UCLA Professor Killed By Former Doctoral Student

klug.w.sThe academic world lost a gifted member in the murder of UCLA professor William Klug, who was gunned down by a former student Mainak Sarkar, 38.  Sarkar is a former doctoral student that Klug mentored and was upset about his grades, according to police. Sarkar left what is described as a “kill list” that led police to the body of a Minnesota woman who was gunned down in her home.  The list included another professor’s name, but thankfully that professor was not hurt.

img_ipardo_20160602-180004_imagenes_lv_otras_fuentes_sarkar-keQE--992x558@LaVanguardia-WebSarkar shot Klug multiple times in the UCLA Engineering Building 4 and Sarkar then took his own life.  Sarkar reportedly left a note that asked someone to “check on my cat.”

In addition to his gripe over grades, Sarkar reportedly believed that Klug had taken his computer code and gave it to someone else.  Sarkar had been attacking Klug for months on social media and described him as a “very sick person” who could not be trusted.

He drove from Minnesota where he has obtained the two guns legally.  They then carried a backpack, two semiautomatic pistols and extra magazines to Klug’s fourth-floor office.

Klug, 39, was an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.   He had taken special efforts to help and mentor Sarkar, who was not a stellar student.

Before coming to UCLA, Sarkar earned a master’s degree at Stanford University following an undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur. Sarkar also worked as a research assistant at the University of Texas and worked as a software developer and remotely as an engineering analyst for an Ohio-based rubber company, Endurica LLC.

Klug’s bio shows that he graduated with a B.S., Westmont College from in 1998; a
M.S. from UCLA in 1999 and his Ph.D. from Caltech in 2003 .  He had an impressive list of publications.   His interests were explained as “theoretical and computational biomechanics. In particular, we are developing continuum and multiscale methods to understand the mechanics of biological structures from the molecular and cellular scales upward.”  His wife, Mary Elise Richter Klug, is also an engineer and graduated from Westmont in 1997.


11893133_1464832505.3889The couple has two children and Klug was the coach on his son’s little league team.  There is a Go Fund Me site set up for the family in the memory of this gifted academic and loving father.

The shooting is obviously a reminder of the risks for academics in dealing with a great variety of students with differing mental or emotional issues.  It is one of the reasons why most academics favor gun-free zones on campuses.  However, if we are to be honest, such a rule would not have prevented this tragedy unless every building is equipped with metal detectors and security gates.  Someone hellbent to commit murder like Sarkar is not going to be thwarted by the fact that guns are not allowed on campus any more than he was not thwarted by murder being illegal.

46 thoughts on “UCLA Professor Killed By Former Doctoral Student”

  1. I know this is pretty late in the game but just in case anyone is still listening, JT in particular, there is this: /Users/mine/Desktop/tumblr_inline_o8fi3qxoXD1tw8u23_1280.jpg

  2. As a former dollctoral student I am not surprised by this at all. Students put in 6,7 and even 8yrs and1 exam(i.e. comprehensive exam can end all your hard work in 1:15, your forced to leave school with nothing yet your life have been on hold for years.in the Science area, your expected to know everything from your undergraduate and graduate studies, including details of experiments done in the lab. Additionally you are expected to make a PowerPoint Presentation and then take questions from your Advisors until you run out of answers.. They expect you to last at least an hour. So, the stress is understandable and alot of people can’t take it nor the politics involved.

  3. If it was a fact that Mainak Sarkar, I would be the first on this blog to be pointing that out. But, alas, we don’t know much about him to make such a determination. On the one hand, as poster Andrea Olmanson points out, according to Alex Hasti, sister of Ashley Hasti, Sarkar was not a Muslim and wasn’t religious. And, on the other hand, as Lisa N. points out, according to one, source, Everipedia, Sarkar was originally listed as Muslim. (However, his Everipedia listing was later changed to Hindu, and then to no religion.) His first name Mainak is a Hindu name. And his last name Sarkar could be Muslim or Hindu. Everipedia isn’t necessarily a reliable source for such information. And even if Sarkar was not a Muslim and was not religious, as Alex Hasti says, that doesn’t mean that he didn’t take up with Islam after she knew him. Thus, the bottom line is that we don’t know one way or the other if Sarkar was a Muslim.

    Similarly, we don’t know that Sarkar was mentally ill either, when so many are quick to conclude that he was mentally ill. Just because someone commits murders doesn’t mean that the person is mentally ill. Many a murderer knows exactly what he or she is doing and that committing murder is wrong. If you don’t understand or accept this reality of human nature, then may I suggest that you watch a couple of seasons of “Forensic Files” on Netflix to bring you up to speed on reality. On this show, you will see true stories of murder after murder committed by vile, evil, heartless people, who knew exactly what they were doing. And sometimes a motive doesn’t even have to be all that strong, if much present at all.

    In Sarkar’s case, the evidence, if anything, seem to indicate that he knew exactly what he was doing. And we even know that he knew that what he had done was wrong. When another quick thinking UCLA professor, Chris Lynch, thought to lock the door to the office where he heard gun shots, to keep the then unknown perpetrator inside the room, Sarkar then shot and killed himself. Sarkar knew that what he did was wrong and didn’t want to face the music, so he took the coward’s way out.

    And how come when someone goes out of his/her way to do some random act of kindness, with not motive whatsoever, and even does so anonymously, perhaps even risking his/her life in committing such a random act of kindness, we don’t say that such a person is mentally ill? Perhaps is a god thing that most people only reserve the heinous acts as acts of the mentally ill, even if many of them are in denial about just how horrible human beings can be.

  4. Steve

    The ‘investigator’ was well-known and is still a frequent visitor. The woman doxed was also well-known here and a liberal. That was all that was needed for the investigator to do his thing. She was banned – without a hearing.

    An alias is recommended around here – especially if you are a liberal.

    Let’s see how long this comment lasts.

    1. RosieS – the woman doxxed herself and then went on a rant when she was not allowed to dedox herself.

  5. Steve,

    Most participants on this blog don’t post photos of themselves. And as you will see from my desultory participation here, this blog doesn’t command enough interest on my part for me to go the trouble of setting one up. Besides, it would be an uncharacteristic exercise of vanity for me to do so.

    As for using my name, that’s never a good idea on sites like this. Many of the commenters here lack your sensibility and there was a case a while back where one of them was digging into the personal life of a woman that posted here for a while. The world’s full of creeps, why make it easy for them.

    That still doesn’t mean carrying a gun is a good idea. I lived in some pretty rough neighborhoods in Chicago, had guns pointed at me, knives and broken bottles pulled, and still never felt the need for a gun.

    You’ll learn someday, hopefully not the hard way, your best defense is how you conduct yourself, not the false courage from a weapon.

    BTW, Pax Romana was celebrated as a time when citizens could travel anywhere within the empire in security under the protection of the law. For generations in modern times, the sight of people moving about their community with firearms for protection was viewed as a sign of a inferior society. Decades of right-wing policies have reduced American society. Pardon me for not giving in.

    1. steve – ccis is an old-timer who comes on periodically to rattle chains. He/she will never change their mind. Once he has taken a position, he is locked in for life. ccis will soon get bored and leave us, only to return again.

    2. ccis seems to live in fear of exposing himself based on one person’s experience in this statistical group.

      As for Pax Romana, common sense dictates that the destabilization, slaughter of human beings, and acquisition on a global scale as a means to empire building is the sign of an inferior society, and it ended with two wars in the Middle East. Does it remind anyone at all our foreign policy, while at the same time living a relatively free quality of life and exponentially gaining enemies while doing so? Don’t just blame the right wing – both Clintons and Obama are in it up to their ears.

      Post WWII, the two major parties have taken us there. And if you vote for either of them, you’re part of the problem. Complacency is complicity.

    3. ccis writes, “The world’s full of creeps, why make it easy for them.” The 2nd Amendment argument. Thanks for making the point.

  6. Alright Steve, Maybe you weren’t “posturing” in the usual sense, but the idea that having a gun on you is going to make you and those around you safer isn’t borne out by statistics.

    And perhaps you should pick your clients more carefully. You don’t see any of Turley’s clients getting shot — and he represents Congress!!

    1. ccis writes, “Alright Steve, Maybe you weren’t “posturing” in the usual sense, but the idea that having a gun on you is going to make you and those around you safer isn’t borne out by statistics.”

      I don’t know that statistics matter in when things go very wrong, other than the statistic that things can go very wrong. Perhaps you’ve been there and can allude to your experience and lessons learned? I’m simply facing up to the potential of such a circumstance – rather than avoiding it altogether – as I think everyone should to some small but practical degree.

      I can appreciate that you believe I should pick my clients more carefully and that you believe I live in fear. Just the same, I’ll live my life as best I know how and continue to serve my clients as best I can (everyone needs representation), and not as you recommend.

      Speaking of fear, what’s your real name and where’s your photo?

  7. Steve, From you’re picture, you appear too young to spend your life living in fear. Having a gun will do little to provide you any real protection, and spare me the machismo posturing about how you’ll take out anyone who tries to “get you”.

    As I pointed out in my refutation of gary trieste’s misguided comment, a gunman burst into a coffee shop and killed 4 fully armed and body-armored police officer’s. Certainly not something I would have thought possible and yet….

    1. ccir writes, “[s]pare me the machismo posturing about how you’ll take out anyone who tries to ‘get you’.”

      I appreciate the comment about my photo looking youthful, but I was fortunate in not showing my age in that photo, taken about five years ago. Perhaps I should change it.

      I didn’t know I was posturing to you in any manner, let alone one resulting in the inference above,

  8. So he was a Muslim, big deal. Some people are Muslims and some people are morons. This wasn’t a religiously motivated killing. Neither was the theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado.

    Gary thinks it’s funny that no one ever shoots up a gun-range. You know that movie American Sniper, that was based on a real guy? Know how he died? Or more pertinently, where? You know there are at least a dozen cases, on average, where someone storms into a police station with a gun every year? You know that a shooter shot and killed four on-duty police officers in a donut shop in Washington state a couple of years ago? What’s funny is how Gary never knows what he’s talking about.

    A while back, Karen insisted that guns were already too heavily regulated because “most” states had instituted background checks- problem solved. Yeh, until someone crosses a state line, like this clown.

    Steve Groen: Now I know why you have enough time on your hands to post as many comments as you do. If you’re that obsessed with your gun as a lawyer, you probably make a good vigilante. Ever hear of Pax Romana?

    1. ccir writes, “Steve Groen: Now I know why you have enough time on your hands to post as many comments as you do. If you’re that obsessed with your gun as a lawyer, you probably make a good vigilante. Ever hear of Pax Romana?”

      I’ve read of Pax Romana, but only at Wikipedia, which Paul Schulte states cannot be believed. According to Wikipedia, this relative period of peace in the Roman Empire ended after 200 years with the wars in Judea (wherever that is) and Parthia (a region in what is now northeastern Iran). Imagine that.

      I’m no vigilante, but I’ve been around long enough to know that a gun is a useful tool. I’m more concerned about the empire builders/regime changers than I am the common criminal and gangbangers, though my neighborhood certainly has its share. There have been two unsolved murders within three blocks of my residence in the past couple of years, and I live about 10 blocks as the crow flies from LH. As Jesse Marin, the first interviewee in this video below states, they’re deep. Too deep.


      A Superior Court judge told me about ten years ago that between my residence near downtown San Diego and the border with Mexico, there are over 30,000 registered gangmembers. And about two months ago, a client of mine in a pending case was murdered in his sleep.

      I’ll stick to my guns.

  9. Maybe if we had gone to the metric system years ago we’d have more American born students that could become engineers and companies wouldn’t have to rely on so many foreigners.
    It’s not about the guns, it’s about opportunities.

  10. Andrea Olemanson – Get over yourself. Your a single minded liberal who has fantasies of a white privileged American hurting your son.

    I’m not wasting my time. There’s too many nuts obviously on here to give my full name and don’t want stalkers. Especially liberal ones, I’ve had the experience and prefer my privacy, which is my prerogative.

    The guy is a muslim. Add the facts, his parents were Malaysian and Pakastani. He came to America as a 90 day stay or marry kind of visa. Just like the couple in San Bernardino. Thank you.

    Mr. Trump, build that wall!
    That is all.

    1. Lisa N writes, “Andrea Olemanson – Get over yourself.” It appears you have gotten over yourself. Where’d you put it?!

      Pretty darned ugly. Ugly!

  11. Lisa, my son isn’t married, and I never said he was. You are making up facts out of thin air as is clear by your comment that my son’s “wife” told me so. Neither a wife nor a girlfriend nor any other significant other informed me of the appearance of the shooter. I don’t have to tell you all of the facts I am aware of, either. But suffice it to say that these facts aren’t the made-up facts that you are pulling out of thin air.

    Also, I gave you a link to a news article where his former sister-in-law clearly stated that he was not a Muslim. You respond with an unsourced screen shot.

    So how about if you post a link to the URL where you obtained your purported “information” that he was a Muslim? His surname is a Hindu, not a Muslim, surname. His sister-in-law states that he was not a Muslim.

    You accuse me of racism for believing an eyewitness who saw and heard my son’s shooter? Evidently you think it is “racist” for me to believe someone I personally know who heard and saw the shooter and who communicated to me that the man who shot my son was white and had a regular American accent? What sort of bizarre, distorted, twisted thinking is that?

    And then you look at the UCLA shooter and think that he must be a Muslim? Why? Because he has brown skin? Not to mention your post above which stated that he was an “illegal” when that wasn’t the case (he became a permanent resident alien in, I believe, 2014).

    In your comment above, you say that the comments above (about the shooter purportedly a Muslim) were “sourced.” Really? Where? When I clicked on your link, all I got to was a page at “weasel zippers” that contained a screen shot, without saying where it came from.

    You evidently are unwilling to admit your several significant errors; you make up facts about my son’s shooting, falsely accuse me of being a racist because I was willing to recognize that the man who shot my kid was white and had an American accent, and then try to weasel out of taking responsibility. Moreover, you hide behind a half-name.

    I can draw my own conclusions as to what you are, Lisa. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and swims like a duck, it’s a duck. If someone lies like a person with a Personality Disorder, dissembles like a person with a Personality Disorder, and refuses to accept responsibility like a person with a Personality Disorder, chances are that the person has a Personality Disorder.

    So do you want to post a link to an URL with a credible source saying the UCLA shooter was a Muslim in order to back up your claims? Or maybe you could instead look up the shooter’s surname, and then acknowledge what his sister-in-law had to say. There is not one single credible source saying that the shooter was Muslim.

    And it’d be nice if you had the balls to use your real name, instead of hiding behind “Lisa N.” I am the only person in North America with the name Andrea Olmanson and I’m not afraid to use my name.

Comments are closed.