The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, disclosed that all four individuals who were shot on Thursday at the campus were faculty members.
The shooting, occurring around 11:45 am, resulted in three fatalities and one individual sustaining critical injuries. Police officials have identified the perpetrator as a college professor who, after failing to secure a position at the institution, carried out the attack.
Unnamed law enforcement officials mentioned that the suspect, who engaged in a shootout with the police and subsequently died, did not seem to be specifically targeting students.
Upon receiving an alert about a shooter, students and professors found themselves compelled to secure classrooms and dormitories throughout the 332-acre (135-hectare) campus. Around 12:30 pm local time, the police department confirmed that the suspect had been located and was no longer alive.
A law enforcement official, possessing direct knowledge of the investigation, stated that the individual who carried out the shooting had previously applied for a position at the school but was unsuccessful. The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity as they lacked authorization to publicly disclose the information, mentioned that the perpetrator had previously been employed at East Carolina University in North Carolina.
Referring to various law enforcement sources, ABC News revealed the identity of the suspect as 67-year-old Anthony Polito, noting his connection to a college in Georgia as well.
The university named two of the deceased victims as business school professors Patricia Navarro-Velez and Cha Jan “Jerry” Chang. The campus president stated that Navarro-Velez, an assistant professor of accounting, had been part of the university for nearly five years, while Chang had dedicated over two decades to teaching business school students.
The school mentioned that the third victim, also a faculty member, will be disclosed once relatives have been informed. As for the fourth victim, they are currently receiving medical care in the hospital.
Frightened students and professors sought refuge in classrooms and dormitories while the gunman moved through the floors. UNLV Police Chief Adam Garcia, during an evening press briefing, stated that two university detectives engaged in a shootout with the assailant. The attacker, reportedly armed with a handgun, initiated the assault on the fourth floor and was eventually neutralized outside the building.
Following the declaration of the suspect’s demise, the university stated that police efforts to evacuate buildings were ongoing. Additionally, the university announced the closure of all UNLV and Nevada System of Higher Education facilities for the remainder of the day.
Situated approximately a mile and a half from the Las Vegas Strip, the public university, accommodating over 30,000 students, is in close proximity to the location of the 2017 mass shooting at an outdoor musical festival. The tragic incident claimed the lives of 60 individuals and left hundreds more injured.