UCLA community evaluates campus safety after murder-suicide

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After a murder-suicide left a professor and former graduate student dead at UCLA, students announced the creation of the UCLA Institute on Campus Violence which will examine the response to the tragedy. (KABC)

After a murder-suicide left a professor dead at the UCLA campus, students and administrators are examining campus safety.

Students announced the creation of the UCLA Institute on Campus Violence on Friday. The student-run committee will work with the university to examine the response of the tragedy.

"UCLA has so many incredible faculties and research and intellect and we really want to study why these things happen and create proposals and send them to our legislators so we can say this is why it happens from a scientific, research-based perspective," UCLA Student Body President Danny Siegel said.

Members will also help institutionalize active-shooter training for all students, faculty and staff.

In a letter to students, Chancellor Gene Block also said a new task force will review the response, a group separate from the student-run committee.

With the planning stages still underway, legislators said they hoped to push it along quickly with funding.

"Last night we approved $5 million for the gun violence research center," Assemblyman Richard Bloom said.

That funding still has to make it through the full assembly and be signed by the governor.

On June 1, former graduate student Maniak Sarkar is said to have drove from Minnesota to Los Angeles to kill two professors he had named in a "kill list."

The list named engineering professor William S. Klug, who was killed that day, as well as another professor and Sarkar's estranged wife.

The woman was found dead inside a Brooklyn Park, Minnesota home and appeared to have been shot before the UCLA incident.

At UCLA, Sarkar killed Klug inside of an office in an engineering building. Moments later Sarkar turned the gun on himself. The Los Angeles Police Department said a letter was also found near the bodies, but did not say if it was a suicide note.

After reports of shots fired were confirmed, the school was placed on lockdown with students and staff using belts and chairs to barricade and secure doors inside classrooms.

Most security experts agree that getting into a locked room is one of the most effective deterrents against getting shot. But wider adoption has been hindered by cost and local fire codes.

In his letter, Block said the university has devoted "considerable attention" to crisis preparedness in recent years, including active shooter drills. In addition to locks, a university security analysis will look at UCLA's emergency notification process, he said.

The shooting at UCLA was the 186th school shooting since the Sandy Hook Elementary School attack in 2012.

Students announced they planned to spread awareness about school shootings on social media using the hashtag #186andnotonemore.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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newsUCLAshootingmurder suicidesafetycollege studentsschool shootingschool safetyWestwoodLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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