Memorial held for U med student, alleged victim of UCLA shooter

Family and friends of Ashley Hasti came to the Mayo Building to remember her.

by Aaron Job

A memorial was held in the University of Minnesota’s Mayo Building auditorium on Friday for the friends and family of medical student Ashley Hasti, a victim of alleged UCLA shooter Mainak Sarkar.  

Hasti was found dead in a Brooklyn Park home on June 2 after her name appeared on the shooter’s “kill list” left in his St. Paul apartment.

Around 50 subdued onlookers listened to colleagues, faculty members and relatives speak in remembrance of the 31-year-old.

“She had a strong sense of what was right and wrong. She was like a comic book hero,” said one friend, adding that Hasti often wore a blanket over her shoulders, resembling a cape.

Another speaker read a letter to Hasti’s family from Dr. Jane Lewis, assistant professor in the University’s Department of Urology, who wrote that she was not emotionally ready to speak to them.

“[Hasti] was a complex person. Intelligent, and had personal problems getting through medical school,” Lewis wrote. “Her life mattered, and she will be remembered.”

A white blanket marked with colorful tracings of hands — a gift from a UCLA student — was displayed outside the auditorium with a photo collage of Hasti laid out around it. 

“She was one of the smartest, coolest and funniest people I knew,” said her sister, Alex Hasti. 

Hasti’s classmates spoke about how she always had fun but was dedicated to her studies and work.

A classmate and member of Hasti’s comedy club said, “It seemed to me she had a knack for everything. I wanted to see everything she would go on to do. … Other comedy writers are too afraid to share their ideas; she was always willing and always coming up with new ones.”

Another family member closed her speech with what she said was Hasti’s favorite quote from her favorite movie, “The Princess Bride.” It read, “As you wish, Ashley.”