Ashley Hasti, wife of UCLA shooter Mainak Sarkar, has been found dead in a Minneapolis suburb. CNN reports that Hasti’s sister Alex posted to Facebook that Ashley’s body was found in Brooklyn Park, a suburb of Minneapolis. Hennepin County Communications Officer Carolyn Marinan stated that the UCLA shooter and his wife married on June 14, 2011, but in her Facebook post, Alex described the two as “estranged.” Following the incident on the UCLA campus, officers searched the home of the shooter and found a “Kill List” with three names, among them the name of his wife.
It’s believed that the shooter killed his wife before heading to the UCLA campus. Her body was found with multiple gunshot wounds at 1:25 a.m. on Thursday according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office. In her Facebook post, Alex Hasti praised her sister’s personality, drive, and dreams.
“Ashley Hasti… was the smartest, coolest, and funniest person I knew. She could do anything she dreamed of whether it was studying abroad in four different countries, acting in school plays, trying stand up comedy and improv, and becoming a doctor. Unfortunately, she won’t get to see that last dream come true as her life was cut short much too soon by her estranged husband.”
The post has been deleted.
Los Angeles Times reports that the Hennepin County medical examiner has indicated that because the crime was not witnessed, he is not able to provide “a more accurate date and time of death.” Investigators have indicated, however, that it appears that the UCLA shooter killed his wife a couple of days prior to the campus tragedy.
Ashley’s great-aunt, 81-year-old Charlane Bertsch, indicated that Ashley attended UCLA with Sarkar, the shooter in the campus tragedy. She said that it took her a while to settle on a course of study, but that she had been happy when she decided on medical school. Her family had no idea that Sarkar was dangerous, and certainly had no idea that he would come to be known as the UCLA shooter.
In addition to attending UCLA and outside of a marriage to the shooter that Ms. Bertsch says didn’t seem very close, Ashley was trying her hand at comedy improv. Erin Anderson was friends with her and said she struggled with confidence, as anyone just breaking into the field does, but seemed to have overcome her fears.
“She was so friendly and loved by everyone for her positive outlook and somewhat oddball personality. I’d for sure label her a nerd because she was just so curious about everything and hungry to learn. She was a little socially awkward, but never shy or worried about it.”
Anderson says she never met Hasti’s husband and that she didn’t really talk about the man who would come to be known as the UCLA shooter.
“I didn’t see him come to any shows or drop her at class… I think I remember her being excited to move into the Brooklyn Park home [that was her parents’] with him since they weren’t living together for a long time.”
The third person on the Kill List of the UCLA shooter is a member of the college faculty and remains unharmed. He was not on the campus on Wednesday when the shooting took place. Police Chief Charlie Beck had this to say about his motive.
“Everybody tries to look for a reason for this. Well, first of all, there is no good reason for this. This is a mental issue, mental derangement, but it was tied to a dispute over intellectual property.”
Sarkar believed that UCLA had released information that was harmful to him, to which Beck says, “UCLA says this is absolutely not true. This is the workings of his imagination.”
[Photo by Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press]