Police have located the car and are now waiting on the bomb squad to arrive to inspect the vehicle as a precaution.
By ALEXANDER NGUYEN
CULVER CITY, CA – The car that was driven by the UCLA shooter Mainak Sarkar was found Friday afternoon in Culver City and nearby residents have been evacuated as a precaution, according to police.
The car was found at the 11300 block of Washington Place, west of Sawtelle Boulevard, at around 1:50 p.m. Friday and the bomb squad is at the scene, LAPD Officer Liliana Preciado said.
The car was shown on local media parked in front of a residence. Nearby streets have been cordoned off and an evacuation was ordered for nearby residents, Culver City police Lt. Troy Dunnlap said.
Police said Sarkar drove the grey Nissan Sentra with Minnesota license plate number 720KTW from St. Paul to Los Angeles after killing his ex-wife, Ashley Hasti. Sarkar then killed engineering professor William S. Klug on Wednesday in a small office in the engineering building at UCLA.
Police have been looking for the car since Thursday. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said at a press conference Thursday the car posed no danger to the public but police would like to find it to complete their investigation.
“There is no immediate evidence to suggest that, but, of course, that is one of the reason’s that we want to find the car to see where that will lead us,” Beck said. “Robbery/homicide is working with the states between here or there to see if there is a trail, but there is nothing that leads us to believe that at this point.”
The bomb squad has been called in to inspect the vehicle as a precaution, Preciado said.
On Wednesday, police found a note where Sarkar shot and killed himself that led police to his home in St. Paul. There, investigators found the ‘kill list’ that led them to the body of his ex-wife, likely killed days before the UCLA shooting. Another professor’s name was also on the list; that professor, who was off-campus when Sarkar arrived for his deadly rampage, was unharmed.
“Two different notes. Two different locations,” Beck said. “The note that was left at the homicide scene doesn’t refer to suicide. It is a note, but it’s an instructional note to the finder to go check on his cat, which we did, and it also has some verbiage to this other potential victim that survived.”
Detectives believe Sarkar intended to kill two professors whom he held a grudge against over an imagined computer code copyright issue, said Beck. But he may have been prepared for a more deadly rampage.
“Sarkar was heavily armed. He had two semiautomatic pistols, one that was used for the homicide and the other that was in his backpack,” said Beck. “He was certainly prepared to engage multiple victims with the ordinance he had at his disposal … . It very easily could have turned into a much, much more horrific situation.”