Mainak Sarkar, the Indian- American techie behind the UCLA murder-suicide, seems to have forced his entry into his estranged wife’s home before shooting her dead and boarded a bus to the varsity to kill his former college professor, authorities said on Saturday.
The 38-year-old IIT-Kharagpur alumni is believed to have intruded into the Brooklyn Park residence in the nearby town where Ashley Hasti, who he married in 2011, lived.
Officers also found Sarkar’s car, a grey 2003 Nissan Sentra with Minnesota license plate 720KTW, parked in his old neighbourhood. They also found a broken window they believe he used to enter Hasti’s home.
Police had asked for the public’s help to find the car and was spotted by a bicyclist parked on a residential street on the city’s west side.
A bomb squad that inspected the vehicle found no explosives but police say a handgun and cans of gasoline were in the trunk.
Authorities said the fuel was apparently there so Sarkar did not have to stop on his trip from Minnesota, where he killed 31-year-old Hasti a few days ago.
Initially, there were conflicting reports about the status of their marriage but police on Saturday confirmed Hasti was
still legally Sarkar’s wife when she died of multiple gunshot wounds. Hasti had been separated for some time and lived separately, they said.
According to Los Angeles police, Sarkar finished his over 3,000 kms-long deadly journey by bus as he knew the bus route to the University of California, Los Angeles where he killed 39-year-old engineering professor William Klug, who he had accused of stealing his computer code and giving it to someone else.
Police have also suggested mental issues with Sarkar, who later turned the gun on himself.
The motive for the twin murder and suicide is not very clear so far but authorities have said Sarkar acted on his own for the shooting, that has shocked the Indian-American community nationwide.
“This was simply him,” Captain William Hayes of the Los Angels Police Department told reporters.
“We have not been able to determine any trigger event that would lead to this or the murder of his wife,” he said in response to a question.
There is no evidence that Sarkar committed any other crime.