Police found a "kill list" at the home of the gunman who opened fire at the University of California, Los Angeles, on Wednesday, killing a professor before taking his own life.

Los Angeles police identified the gunman as Mainak Sarkar, an engineering student at the school, also identifying his victim as 39-year-old engineering professor William S. Klug.

Police Chief Charlie Beck confirmed Thursday that Mr Klug's name was on the "kill list", as was the name of another woman who police later found dead, CNN reports.

The identity of the woman, who was found dead in a Brooklyn Park, Minnesota home early Thursday morning, has not been released, The Star Tribune reports. She was fatally shot.

Advertisement

Police found the "kill list" during an hours-long search inside his Minnesota apartment on Wednesday night that led authorities to find a woman's body. Another UCLA professor's name was also on the list. Police confirmed the professor is fine.

"Early indications are the shooting occurred prior to the UCLA event," Brooklyn Park Police Deputy Chief Mark Bruley said in a statement.

Authorities are yet to release additional information about Sarkar, who allegedly shot and killed his professor in one of the university's engineering buildings before turning the gun on himself. The apparent murder-suicide stemmed from a student-teacher dispute, police sources confirmed.

The shooting prompted the sprawling urban campus to close for about two hours on Wednesday as students were told to seek shelter while police confirmed that Sarkar and Klug were the only people involved in the incident.

The Los Angeles coroner's office confirmed that Klug died in the attack.

University officials said classes would resume on Thursday and counsellors will be available for students, faculty and staff.

"Our hearts are heavy this evening as our campus family mourns the sudden and tragic deaths of two people on our campus earlier today," Chancellor Gene Block said in a statement on Wednesday.

SWAT officers search students who were evacuated from the UCLA campus. Photo / AP
SWAT officers search students who were evacuated from the UCLA campus. Photo / AP

Klug was a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, according to the university's website. The Los Angeles Times reported that Klug was attempting to develop a computer-generated virtual heart.

"You cannot ask for a nicer, gentler, sweeter and more supportive guy than William Klug," Professor Alan Garfinkel told the newspaper of his colleague.

Engineering student Aaron Feigelman said he received a text message alerting him to an emergency and entered an adjacent building, where he and five others took refuge for 90 minutes. "We tied the bathroom door hinges with belts to keep the door closed because there were no locks. And we just waited. It was really scary," Feigelman said.

About 200 police officers wearing bulletproof vests and helmets responded to several calls of shots fired, converging on the campus with rifles drawn, fearing the shooter might still be active. Police recovered what may turn out to be a suicide note and a gun at the scene, Police Chief Beck said.

UCLA, attended by more than 43,000 students, is in the Westwood section of Los Angeles and is one of the more well-regarded schools in the University of California system.

"I am heartbroken by the sight of SWAT teams running down avenues normally filled with students, and angered by the fear that one person with a firearm can inflict on a community," Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti said.