The man was a doctoral student enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles. But earlier this week, he picked up pistols instead of academics.
Mainak Sarkar shot "devout Christian" professor William S. Klug in a murder-suicide that devastated the university and the nation.
"You cannot ask for a nicer, gentler, sweeter and more supportive guy than William Klug," fellow UCLA professor Alan Garfinkel told the LA Times.
CNN reports police speculate Sarkar thought Klug had "harmed him," but the university says the statement is utterly false.
"Everybody tries to look for a reason for this. Well, first of all, there is no good reason for this," police Chief Charlie Beck said. "This is a mental issue, mental derangement, but it was tied to a dispute over intellectual property."
Sarkar reportedly lashed out online at Klug, claiming the professor was a "very sick person" who could not be trusted.
But those who knew Klug say the opposite is true.
The professor graduated from Westmont College, a Christian college in Santa Barbara, California.
In 2004, he detailed his relationship with God to the college magazine:
Attending Westmont gave Bill an opportunity to build a more intellectual basis for his faith. "My young, naive, and parent-based beliefs went through a transformation," he says. "I basically chucked everything I knew and began to think and reason carefully. Eventually I made my faith my own. I ended up where I had started, but with a much deeper understanding.
"One result is that I have learned to be more open minded, but not in a relativistic way," he adds. "I intend to keep reevaluating my faith and to maintain a list of reasons for what I believe. I refuse to be afraid to evaluate new evidence."
Non-intuitive concepts in physics remind Bill that the universe is a strange and beautiful place. "Knowing there is a God responsible for the world makes a big difference in my motivation to understand it better," he says. He feels confident in letting the evidence speak for itself, a lesson he learned at Westmont.
"I developed a habit of relying on God for what I felt was beyond my ability to control or what I couldn't do for myself," he says. "It helps me keep things in the right perspective."
Klug leaves behind two children. Please pray for his family at this time.
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