Car matching description of UCLA gunman’s vehicle is found in Culver City – Los Angeles Times

A car matching the description and licence plate of UCLA gunman Mainak Sarkar’s vehicle was found Friday in Culver City, authorities said. 

Sarkar’s vehicle has been described by police as a 2003 gray Nissan Sentra, with Minnesota license plate 720KTW.

The car was found on Washington Place near Sawtelle Boulevard, about 6 miles southeast of the UCLA campus. It was parked on a residential street, near a Culver City bus line that runs to UCLA. 

Patrol officers located the car about 2 p.m., said Capt. Andrew Neiman, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department.

Full Coverage: Shooting at UCLA >> >>

As people gathered for a vigil at UCLA on Friday afternoon, an LAPD bomb squad arrived on scene at Bledsoe Avenue and Washington Place in Culver City. 

With yellow police tape blocking Washington Place between Sepulveda Boulevard and McLaughlin Avenue, officers approached the vehicle with bomb-sniffing dogs as bystanders looked on. 

Aerial news footage showed officers removing six red containers that appeared to be gas tanks from the vehicle’s trunk.  

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Police suspect Sarkar drove in the vehicle from Minnesota to L.A., where he shot and killed William Klug, a UCLA professor, in his campus office on Wednesday before committing suicide, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said. 

Sarkar’s estranged wife, Ashley Hasti, 31, was found dead in her Brooklyn Park, Minn., home early Thursday, authorities said. She died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to a statement from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner on Friday.

Investigators say Hasti appeared to have been dead for a couple of days before the discovery of a “kill list” written by Sarkar led them to Hasti’s home. 

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Investigators are trying to determine Sarkar’s actions in recent days, particularly his drive from Minnesota, Beck said. 

Beck said police don’t expect the vehicle to be “any significant danger,” but officials had asked members of the public to call police if they saw it. There was no immediate evidence to suggest Sarkar commited other crimes between St. Paul, where he lived, and Los Angeles, Beck said.

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Christian Martinez, 21, of Culver City, said he had just pulled up to a liquor store when he saw people standing by a car on Washington Place. 

“They were looking at the car, keeping their distance,” Martinez said. “I just thought it was their car and didn’t think anything of it.”

After leaving the store, Martinez drove back home, about a block away. Within seconds of parking, he saw police officers responding. He found out later that the car was  thought to belong to Sarkar. 

Miguel Villela, 36, of Culver City was shocked when he found out about the vehicle, which was parked just a street away from his house.

“Goosebumps,” he said, holding out his arm. “That’s what I’m feeling.”

Villela was returning home after picking up his daughters from school when he saw police about 2:20 p.m. He later learned from a neighbor that it could be Sarkar’s vehicle. 

“I’m not going to work,” he said. “I’m staying here with my family.”

MORE ON THE UCLA SHOOTING

Slain UCLA professor William Klug, father of two, praised as ‘great man’ by students

How students coped during UCLA lockdown

Editorial: Just a murder-suicide in a small UCLA office. And so America shrugs

richard.winton@latimes.com

Twitter: @lacrimes

hailey.branson@latimes.com

Twitter: @haileybranson

ruben.vives@latimes.com

Twitter: @LATvives


UPDATES:

5:27 p.m.: This article was updated with new details about the search of the car.

4:27 p.m.: This article was updated with new details and comments from bystanders.

3:34 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from Culver City residents.

This article was originally published at 3 p.m.

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