Mainak Sarkar: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Who allowed this killer into our country?




The suspect in the shooting of a UCLA professor has been named as PhD candidate Mainak Sarkar. The victim was Professor William Klug. He was a teacher in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, according to his official bio on the school’s website.

Sarkar was first named in a report by CBS News. He was a native of Minneapolis and had a PhD in solid mechanics from UCLA.

The shooting prompted a two-hour lockdown at the school with LAPD Charlie Beck telling the media when it was over, “The campus is entirely contained. We believe there are no suspects outstanding and no continuing threat to UCLA’s campus.” William Scott Klug was 39 years old.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Sarkar Came to UCLA Clad in All-Black & Armed With a Pistol

The Daily Bruin reports that Sarkar has been described as a white male who six feet tall. The newspaper adds that Sarkar was wearing a black jacket and black pants.

In his press conference immediately after the shooting, Chief Herren alluded to the incident possibly being a murder/suicide. KNX reporter Rob Archer tweeted that a suicide note was recovered at the scene.

KNX reporter Claudia Peschiutta tweeted that Sarkar was “despondent” over his grades, which prompted the shooting.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Klug was killed inside of an office in the engineering complex.

CBS News reports that Sarkar has no previous criminal history and used a 9mm to kill Professor Klug and himself.

2. In March 2016, Sarkar Wrote That Professor Klug Was a ‘Sick Person’ in a Blog Post Though in 2014 He Thanked Klug & Called Him a ‘Mentor’

In a now-deleted blog post on his WordPress site LongDarkTunnelblog, Sarkar wrote about Professor Klug. On March 10, the shooter was scathing in his criticism of Klug saying:

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…

My name is Mainak Sarkar. I was this guy’s PhD student. We had personal differences. He cleverly stole all my code and gave it another student. He made me really sick.

Your enemy is your enemy. But your friend can do a lot more harm. Be careful about whom you trust.

Stay away from this sick guy.

The Los Angeles Times reports that in 2014 in a doctoral commencement booklet, Klug was listed as Sarkar’s advisor, the shooter wrote to Klug, “Thank you for being my mentor.”

The only other visible post on the blog shows a photo of comedian Bill Maher with the caption, “Bill Maher still looks so cool……”

A source at UCLA told the Los Angeles Times that Sarkar’s claims were “absolutely untrue.” The source added, “The idea that somebody took his ideas is absolutely psychotic” and that Klug “bent over backwards” to help Sarkar finish his dissertation.

3. Sarkar Was a Member of the Klug Research Group

Klug had his own research group at the school. On their website, the Klug Research Group says:

We are primarily interested in 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. Some of our projects are listed below.

There are six doctoral students involved in the research group, including Mainak Sarkar. On that page, Sarkar is said to have been studying at UCLA since 2006.

According to his LinkedIn page, Sarkar got his master’s degree at Stanford and also studied aerospace engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur. After that, he apparently returned to the U.S. to work as a research assistant at the University of Texas in 2003 before working as a software developer.

Sarkar also worked for a rubber company named Endurica as an engineering analyst. The Los Angeles Times reports that he left that job in August 2014 that was according to the company’s president William Mars.

He wrote a glowing tribute to Sarkar on LinkedIn saying:

Mainak is a steady contributor with solid technical skills in FEA and software development. I appreciate the quality of his work, and his careful approach to new problems. He has worked for Endurica in an off-site situation requiring great trust and independence, and he has performed well under those conditions.

Sarkar represented Endurica at a conference in Cleveland in October 2013.

Another of those who provided an endorsement on LinkedIn, Matthew Uy, told the Los Angeles Times that he hadn’t seen Sarkar in years and the Uy felt “pretty disconnected” from the shooter.

In 2010, Mainak was a teaching assistant in an aerospace engineering course at UCLA under Melissa Gibbons.

Klug’s friend Lance Giroux told CBS Los Angeles that, “Kids loved working with him because he was such an easy coach to work with.”

A professor of integrative biology and physiology, Alan Garfinkel, told the Los Angeles Times, “I am absolutely devastated. You cannot ask for a nicer, gentler, sweeter and more supportive guy than William Klug.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
This entry was posted in UCLA. Bookmark the permalink.