A murder-suicide took two lives at the University of California, Los Angeles on Wednesday morning local time (June 2). William S. Klug, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, was shot in an engineering building on the campus. The shooter, whose identity has not yet been shared, was identified as a male young enough to be a student. He turned the gun on himself after killing the professor. A possible suicide note was found at the scene. The campus was locked down for a few hours, with officers in camouflage and tactical gear securing the area.
Most UCLA classes are expected to resume, though engineering classes will be cancelled for the rest of the week.
During the lockdown groups of engineering students hiding in various rooms hastily came up with elaborate ways to secure doors that had no locks and opened outward.
Professor Klug studied the interaction between mechanics and biology and was the father of two young children. Colleagues described him as kind, supportive, and brilliant. He was also a married father of two and a Little League coach.
One unnamed law enforcement source told a local news reporter the shooter was a student upset over his grades.
“Most of us have never experienced a day like today, and this incident has been enormously stressful for everyone,” UCLA chancellor Gene Block said in a statement, noting that counseling and psychological services were available for any member of our campus community.
The shooting took place just one day before National Gun Violence Awareness Day, described by organizers as a nationwide movement to honor all lives cut short by gun violence. It was prompted by the shooting death of Hadiya Pendleton, a teenager killed in Chicago in 2013 one week after marching in president Barack Obama’s 2013 inaugural parade. Organizers ask supporters wear orange to mark the day.
In New York the Empire State Building is marking the movement with orange lighting tonight (June 1).
On social media, users combined UCLA with the movement’s hashtag #WearOrange.