back to article UCLA shooter: I killed my prof over code theft

The student who shot and killed his engineering professor and then himself at a Los Angeles university had accused the professor of stealing his code. In a blog post on March 10, Mainak Sarkar, 38, said Professor William Klug, 39, "is not the kind of person when you think of a professor. He is a very sick person. I urge every …

  1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Of course easy access to guns in no way made this tragedy more likely :(

    1. aghasee

      Nonsense. UC's are gun-free zones.

      1. scarletherring

        Re: Nonsense

        Nonsense. UC's are gun-free zones.

        Right. And murder-suicide plotters really worry about that. The point, as if you didn't get it, is that you only have to wander off campus to trip over firearms.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @ scarletherring

          Re: Nonsense. UC's are gun-free zones.

          Right. And murder-suicide plotters really worry about that. The point, as if you didn't get it, is that you only have to wander off campus to trip over firearms.

          -

          No, the point is that in a gun-free zone a mass-shooter can run wild without anyone firing back in defence.

          However, if non-lethal weapons such as tasers were widely available in gun-free zones, a brave person might stand a chance of disabling a shooter.

          1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

            You've all missed the plot. Today it's a pistol or two which was sneaked on campus but tomorrow it's a drone that can seek out an individual or group and set off a substantial explosive (perhaps directional) killing one or many. Yes, today you may feel the enemy is the "gun/pistol" which is today's tool but tomorrow you'll blame a different tool and I'm fairly confident it's going to be small airborne vehicles that can be launched from the parking lot and the perpetrator can remain largely anonymous. Ted Kaczynski would have loved the future.

            Not anonymous because I'm not unstable and I've been counted on table 15.

          2. AIBailey

            Re: @ scarletherring

            In a "gun-free zone", anyone wanting to go on a rampage in a school/college/cinema/shopping mall would generally have to find another (ultimately less effective) weapon instead of just going and opening their own/parents/friends gun cabinet.

            However you'll also notice that in a gun-free zone, the chance of a parent being accidentally shot by their own child drops to zero (a couple of recent cases spring to mind, one in a supermarket and one whilst the mother was driving). As does the chance of a child accidentally killing themselves (another recent case where the child was at the grandparents house and found a loaded pistol). As also does the chance of someone accidentally shooting and injuring themselves (no citation needed, just search YouTube).

            Gun issues aren't just a US-specific issue, however having access to firearms makes anyone more dangerous. Oscar Pistorus would be an example of this in a non-US context - the simple fact that there was a legally held gun in the house, along with a "shoot-first" train of thought had tragic consequences.

    2. channel extended
      IT Angle

      Doctoral students routinely have their code,data,or ideas stolen. It is a feature of the educational system. Dr's are promoted,protected,tenured by what new ideas they produce and the temptation to steal from from a student is very large, I'm not saying he did, but I'm not saying he didn't. If he did then there are probably more people who have a beef with him.

      The code may have been trivial, who knows? Like you know, Flash.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Stolen code?

        I doubt if any 'new' code has been written in the last thirty years. Old code for a new context perhaps but new code ... nope.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Stolen code?

          I doubt if any 'new' code has been written in the last thirty years

          To sharpen this odd statement, this sounds like the thesis "no new algorithms in 30 years".

          I call utter bullshit. Then I say, "Go back to your Excel sheet. Or better a library and learn something!"

          Turbo codes are the first to come to mind. That took 1 second.

        2. Tom_

          Re: Stolen code?

          "I doubt if any 'new' code has been written in the last thirty years."

          What? How can you even think this? It's ridiculous.

      2. Dadmin

        You're right that it's a feature and not a bug. When you go to university you go there to collaborate and learn, and if through that learning a great new product arises, then it's the property of the university, not the student. Where did he get all those "great ideas?" from the fucking class work, you idiot. Some delusional asshole with a gun does not sound like a bright, young student with great ideas on the way. It's just another mentally ill asshole who, surprise, is somehow able to get armed and shoot at people. Guns are for assholes, just like this guy. I tell every toddler I meet that if they ever get their hands on a gun to shoot the people who gave it to them, especially their parents. I love that! So, make excuses for guns being necessary all you like, but they are not necessary. The military and the police should have them, and the general public should be kept from them until they can show they're not assholes too. Sounds like a long fucking wait. Good. People who love guns are just fucking morons. Pick up a book and do something constructive with your fucking life, assholes! I've been in the US Army and shot every fucking weapon there is. You know what one I keep now? NONE. Guns are not tools. The people who love them are. I shit on your guns, you fucknuts!

        1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

          When you go to university you go there to collaborate and learn, and if through that learning a great new product arises, then it's the property of the university, not the student.

          Using your logic Facebook should belong to Harvard and Google should be owned by Stanford. At what point would you say your ideas are actually yours and not the property of your school? Is the rest of your rant actually yours or is it simply parroting some professor from the ivory tower you attended? Perhaps Walter L. Scott and a few students attending Kent State back in 1970 might disagree about allowing police and military to have guns.

          1. Blergh

            Well I assume in this case the student was working on code for his PhD under guidance of his Prof and being paid for by whoever created the PhD place. The work is therefore owned by the University/Whoever paid for the PhD. It doesn't matter if it was the student's original ideas, on related work, or stuff he was set by his Prof. Only if the code was wholly unrelated to his PhD is there a grey line as to who owns it.

            Facebook was created in Zuckerbergs spare time and not as part of a research project. The work I do for my company is rightfully owned by the company, not me.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Zuckerberg et al.

              The current Facebook engine is the product of 57 acquisitions to date by Zuckerberg, either incorporating their ideas and code (and coders), or just taking competition off the market. It's hardly a product of Zuckerberg's "spare" or work time.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          What a great rant. Reminds me of the Navy Seal copypasta:

          http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/navy-seal-copypasta

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Reminds me of the Navy Seal copypasta:

            I'm glad I wasn't the only one.

        3. Fungus Bob Silver badge

          Re: @Dadmin

          Who piddled in your Post Toasties?

      3. g e

        @channel extended

        His wife was a possiblw code thief too then, by extension?

        Not saying she was, not saying she wasn't

        1. energystar
          Headmaster

          Re: @channel extended

          Thanks for the lightness, g e. This is heavy material.

      4. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Of course mental illness in no way made this tragedy more likely :(

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. John Sanders
      Childcatcher

      Of course!

      Its so simple, if there are no guns no one can kill anybody... why no one ever thought of that.

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/09/30/oklahoma-beheading/16482769/

      1. ZSn

        Re: Of course!

        Yes, but a weedy teenager can't easily behead twenty people with a knife but can easily kill them with a gun. It's not that murders don't happen but they are unfortunately more effective with a gun.

        1. chivo243 Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: Of course! - Pick your Poison

          "weedy teenager can't easily behead twenty people"

          He could poison them, send them a nicely powdered letter, run them down in a big fucking truck or a bus. He could strap some homemade explosive to his ass... It's early, I could come up with other ways to kill lots of people "without" a gun, but I need my cuppa. Let me get back to you.

          I guess using a gun is just as expedient as stealing code? Both quick and easy, no?

          And I have to think that every programmer and code monkey here would recognize their code when they see it?

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Of course!

          Self-defense against murderers is also more effective when you have a gun.

    5. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. fix

        Re: @Paul Crawford re: guns.

        The problem I have with your argument is that in all the examples you give a tool is being mis-used to do someone harm, and also it needs a much closer and physical approach to achieve that harm, which then entails the risk of losing a physical fight.

        A Gun is the only object in your list that is expressly designed to do another person harm whilst still staying at a safe distance yourself, thus making it a lot easier to harm someone else without entailing any personal risk.

        If someone had to use one of the alternative methods you list, then a lot of potentials killers would think twice and back off.

        That's the real problem with guns, it makes it too easy for a coward to intimidate or kill someone that they won't take on face to face.

        1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

          Re: @Paul Crawford re: guns.

          Wait 'til you see what the nutters do with drones. Admit it you know it's only a matter of time.

      2. AIBailey

        Re: @Paul Crawford re: guns.

        See the absurdity in it all? So don't blame the availability of guns any more than the availability of toilet paper. ANYTHING can be used to kill someone if you're creative & desperate enough. It doesn't have to be a gun, it can be a stick of GUM for all it matters.

        Blah blah blah.

        The absurd point that you seem to be missing is that whilst yes, you can kill someone with a piece of cutlery/stick/vegetable/item of clothing given time, perseverance and a lack of retaliation from the victim, the time taken to do so is significant. You claim that you could go on a killing spree with a truncheon? I'd guarantee that if you walked into a room of 10 people with a truncheon and tried to club them all to death, you'd probably be overpowered by the time you'd knocked the first person unconscious. Either that, or everyone else would run out of range. If you had a gun then you'd either have killed the first few before anyone realised what was happening, or you could shoot the runners in the back. If you'd have tried the same stunt armed with a bag of vegetables, you've more chance of the victims dying from laughing. Not sure that throwing a couple of potatoes at peoples backs is really going to do them much harm.

        However much fans of the US want to argue that guns aren't dangerous, they do make it much easier to to lots of harm to lots of people than not having them readily available,.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

            Re: @Shadow Systems

            Oh FFS, please provide the murder statistics of the various alternatives to guns you suggest. Sure probably EVERYTHING has at some point in time been used as a weapon, but just look at the annual death statistics due to guns in the USA both intended (as here) and accidental.

            Now do the same for any other country with any semblance of working government.

            Edited: Here is a list:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

            OK the USA is not the worst, but please, compared to the rest of the "west" (Canada and EU region) and the "east" (Japan, South Korea, etc) we are looking at a x10 or more ratio.

      3. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: @Paul Crawford re: guns.

        An attacker *could* kill someone with shoelaces - but it's not the main use of shoelaces & it's an awful lot more difficult to kill lots of people with shoelaces without one of the intended victims defeating the attacker due to close proximity needed.

        Whereas the gun allows at a distance killing, far less risk of attacker being hurt

        The sole purpose of a gun is to fire a projectile very fast, said projectile able to cause lots of damage to what it hits.

        For me, shoelaces being banned would be a pain, as would render all my footwear impossible to wear, no guns would not be an issue (I'm in UK, where the huge majority of the population manage quite happily without guns, yes we still have murders as if someone is of that mindset then they will try & find a way, but a lot lower murder rate then the US with it's large gun ownership as "easy, at a distance" murder harder in the UK)

        .

      4. Cronus

        Re: @Paul Crawford re: guns.

        You know, historically, we've had wars where one side had guns and the other side had weapons quite a bit more deadly than the ones you listed... guess which side won

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Paul Crawford re: guns.

        We outlawed handguns in the UK (after a particularly nasty shooting in Scotland) and gun deaths are now very rare. So if the ownership of guns is not a factor is there something iffy with the American psyche......? (there is some evidence for this if you compare stats with Canada). However I suspect its a combination of the 2.

      6. Disk0
        Thumb Up

        Lethal Potato

        I'd see that movie.

    6. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        "Preventing the use of fire arms for self protection leads only to a weak nation."

        Oh yeah! Those nations where people keep an AK47 under this bed are generally weaker nations than, for example, EU nations.

        Was that your point? He he

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not more likely, or less

      The wife could have been killed by any means, and when it comes to murder & suicide, as this case was, the perp need not use a gun that operates safely from a distance. Any explosive device will do. Re devices: The Boston Marathon bombers' use of fireworks innards and pressure containment chambers - i. e., commercial pressure cookers, did the job. And, when suicide's in the mix, one has a most intelligent and cunning, if insane, guided weapon system to insure reliability.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So unbelievable.... THEY are getting desperate to disarm Americans and force Windows 10 upgrades.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      First...

      First, they came for my guns, and I said nothing, then, they came for my datas...

      1. ZSn

        Re: First...

        First they came for my datum (singular), then they came back for the rest of the data (plural)...

  3. LINCARD1000
    Go

    I hope someone remembered to feed his kitten.

  4. Mark 85 Silver badge
    Trollface

    Could this set a precedent?

    I wonder how many high-priced lawyers working for patent trolls are taking a look a this...? Pay us or else.....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Correction needed

    Way to go ElReg, with that image caption:

    > "PhD student Mainak Sarkar (left) and his professor William Klug"

    Honest reporting would write it thus:

    > "PhD student Mainak Sarkar (left) and his murder victim, professor William Klug"

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Correction needed

      If you want to take the politicially correct leftistextremely precise wording option, it's "ex-PhD ex-student" and "ex-professor".

      Also apparently an accident of schizophrenia, this can happen.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      alleged murder victim

      ... he could have been oswalded.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Evil pussy

    Sounds like the kitten did it.

  7. NottReale

    Interesting omission

    It's strange that no one has mentioned the killer was Muslim.

    1. John Bailey

      Re: Interesting omission

      "It's strange that no one has mentioned the killer was Muslim."

      It's disappointing that you imagine it matters.

      1. NottReale

        Re: Interesting omission

        It's another data point. If you're not directly involved, why does any of it matter?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Interesting omission

          I am sure the Prof would not have considered it a "data point." Not after catching hot lead from yet another offended Muslim.

    2. Ruli Manurung

      Re: Interesting omission

      Not that strange actually, considering that HE WASN'T.

      Now why on earth would you think that he was, eh?

      1. NottReale

        Re: Interesting omission

        Because his profile on Everpedia listed his religion as Islam. It's been "updated", since the shooting.

    3. Katie Saucey
      Holmes

      Re: Interesting omission

      "..strange that no one has mentioned the killer was Muslim."

      Pretty sure that is because he was Hindu, 4chan/pol when through 100 threads on this today.

    4. abubasim

      Re: Interesting omission

      He must have been a Muslim because he was not white, he killed a white person, and he had a foreign-sounding name?

      1. NottReale

        Re: Interesting omission

        No, because his profile listed "Islam" as his religion.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Interesting omission

      This is the 25th anniversary year of the U. of Iowa shooting:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Iowa_shooting

      No mention of this murderer's religion either. Because, just maybe, being a crazy f*cktard trumps creed or ethnicity.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Interesting omission

        He may have also been a vegetarian, and they didn't report it. Why? Because neither his vegetarianism or religion had little to do with his state of mind.

    6. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. kain preacher Silver badge

    Interesting omission

    "The man accused of slaying a University of California, Los Angeles, professor in a murder-suicide had written a “kill list” that included a woman who has been found dead in Minnesota"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Interesting omission

      The woman found dead in Minnesota was his wife. He had a kill list with his wife on it. What a marriage!

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Interesting omission

        How bad memory would you have to have to have to add your wife to a list?

        Clearly not at full mental capacity, that one.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Interesting omission

          Aye, and a "list" required for only two targets, sans wife, confirms your diagnosis.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Guns don't kill people....

    ...coders do.

  10. heyrick Silver badge

    After the investigation...

    ...it will be determined that the student was in fact innocent. The culprit will be identified as the kitty, who shot the professor for taking too much of human's tummy scratching time, and the wife for changing to a cheaper brand of cat food.

    Evidence, right here.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AMERICA....FUCK YEAH....

    .......morons!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: AMERICA....FUCK YEAH....

      Yeah cos this never happens anywhere else in the world.

      In essence I do agree that getting someone out of the community and into the mental health care system is a lot more difficult in the US in comparison to the UK, (Mainly due to the signs being ignored by both the professionals (Police / Ambulance etc..) but also by the community at large), whereas in the U.K. we have a much more interfering and community care. U.S. Universities (I.e. the place of employment) have a lot to answer for, they are less caring and very much more exploitive than the U.K. equivalent, however to turn around and call them morons when at least 3 people have died is a bit like me calling you an under educated dick.

  12. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    PhD students routinely have their work "stolen" in that if the work deserves publication as innovative in some way, the Professor's name is on the paper and the student who did the thinking and the lab work (I was a chemistry undergrad) is listed as an assistant.

    That's the cost of the doctorate. It's somewhat like Network Marketing scams because the expectation is that you will in time become a professor and do it to some other bright young things, thereby being compensated for your "loss".

    The scam comparison comes when the educational system is flooded with PhDs, industry (where the possibility of patents might soothe the seethe) doesn't need any more and the tips managed as a Barista don't come close to making up for not being known as the man (or woman) wot invented the BUI (Brainwave User Interface) or who is not in line for the Nobbly Prize for sorting out that whole World Peace thing on a napkin in the Uni coffee bar one rainy Thursday.

    I wonder what the wife stole. His vital liquids? His self-esteem? The affections of the Kitten?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: anonymous crazy person

        Can't you take this to a blog or something? I could do with less crazy around here.

        C.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. Brian Allan 1

    Yet another mentally ill American with a gun! Sorry, but this is old news in the USA.

  14. energystar
    Headmaster

    This is really bad. Only idea at this moment is Academic Works should be strictly GPL and GitHub managed. Depressing to see ownership issues at Knowledge Temples. Psychiatric issues aside.

  15. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    The gun lobby never explains how to avoid mentally ill people doing this kind of thing.

    The "only" solution as far as they are concerned would be to arm everyone, down to kinder garden teachers. That's gonna work...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Debating gun law is futile, as pro-gunners are generally too thick to understand a logical argument.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      thickness?

      But, with almost 50M households in the US having one gun or more, that's a lot to dismiss as thickness. More likely, they put their view of the reality about them over abstract logic.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: thickness?

        Probably only 25M of those are thick, and the rest wouldn't mind laws that took away guns from everyone.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: thickness?

          If the party trying to take their guns away wasn't the same party that's emptying the prisons of dangerous felons and flooding country with illegal migrants, many with ties to the most vicious terrorist gangs on the planet, they might be thick, but it is, and they're not.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Statement of Witnesses:

    UCLA Professor Ajit Mal and colleague Christopher Lynch, the two men who ran to the source of the gunshots, and held the door closed at the scene of the crime, to thwart the escape of the shooter, told the Los Angeles Times:

    … that Sarkar’s allegation that Klug had stolen his computer code was groundless. Lynch said all UCLA employees and graduate students sign over any intellectual property developed there to the university and, if it is subsequently licensed, enter royalty agreements to share in the profits...

    “There just isn’t an issue worth discussing here,” Lynch said. "This is what a very sick mind dredged up. It’s delusional.”

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and cue the hoplophobes

    buncha psychos who think they can;t handle guns, so no one should have them.

    ranting about killing people who get guns because having the thing means violent intentions.

    But then these are mostly the same people who disarmed Ireland because they didn't want the Irish rebelling against them.

    Good thing the IRA was all done when guns were banned, and no other means of mass violence became cliche.

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