UCLA to launch task force and investigation into campus shooting
(Reuters) – A week after a gunman shot and killed a UCLA professor and then himself, the university has begun a security analysis of its campus and will launch a task force to ensure that lessons learned from the incident will be acted upon, a spokesman said. Mainak Sarkar, 38, killed his wife in Minnesota and then drove to Los Angeles, where he shot engineering professor William Klug, 39, at a small office on the UCLA campus, police said. He had intended to shoot a second professor as well.
On Wednesday, the university will announce details of the analysis and task force, said spokesman Ricardo Vazquez. He did not specify issues to be studied. However, he and others said that among issues that might come under scrutiny is the question of whether buildings on the UCLA campus where students were forced to hide from Sarkar during a two-hour lockdown should have been equipped with doors that locked. Because many classrooms were not equipped with locking doors, students were forced to barricade them with furniture and other items during the siege. Vasquez detailed elements of police efforts to locate and stop Sarkar as terrified students hid, saying that UCLA campus police officers were first on the scene, soon joined by the Los Angeles Police Department and other agencies. “In the engineering building incident, UCLA PD officers were the first responders, locating the scene of the crime, searching and securing rooms and leading the students to safety,” he said. Sarkar was armed with two 9mm pistols and multiple ammunition clips, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said. He killed himself immediately after fatally shooting Klug, Beck said. (Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Michael Perry)