March 4, 2024

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The University of Nevada attacker was a professor who asked for a job at the company

The University of Nevada attacker was a professor who asked for a job at the company

(CNN) — A 67-year-old career university professor was identified as the attacker who killed three people at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) on Wednesday, a police source said. And investigators are looking into the possibility that he may have been sent to work at the university.

According to Las Vegas Metropolitan Sheriff Kevin McMahill, the attacker died at the scene after a standoff with police outside the university building. He was identified as Anthony Polito, the source and another police source said.

A police source told CNN that Polito applied for a job at UNLV, but was not hired, and the theory behind the investigation is a possible motive.

He worked at schools in Georgia and North Carolina, a law enforcement source told CNN. Polito’s LinkedIn page He lists his most recent full-time employment as a business professor at East Carolina University, a position he left in 2017.

The shooting began shortly before noon on the fourth floor of the university’s Beam Hall business school building, where students and faculty were preparing for final exams next week, the sheriff said. Outside, students gathered for an event with games, food and Lego building activities, he said.

According to the sheriff, the attacker went through several floors before engaging in an armed confrontation with law enforcement outside, who detained the suspect. It is not known how the attacker died.

In addition to the three people killed by the gunman, another was seriously injured in the shooting, but his condition was later confirmed at a hospital, McMahill said. Four others were taken to hospitals with symptoms of panic attacks, he added.

Officials have not released the names of the victims or whether they were students or staff.

“We saw a lot of fear on the faces of those young men and women at UNLV today,” Sheriff said.

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The shooting prompted a campus-wide shelter-in-place order as authorities scrambled to find the gunman and systematically evacuate Beam Hall and nearby buildings.

Students frantically took shelter in the student center across from Beam Hall after gunshots were heard and then waited for police to evacuate them, said a student who declined to be named. CNN affiliate KVVU. “A lot of people panicked,” he said.

“We all walked out of the building, hands up,” the student said. “We got kicked out of the student center. We went through one of the windows and there was a hole in the window and glass everywhere.”

The fear and panic in the campus evoked memories of the massacre Route 91 Harvest Music Festival It decimated the city in 2017 and remains so Mass shooting Deadliest in modern American history. Wednesday’s tragedy marks the 80th school shooting in the U.S. so far this year, including 29 on college and university campuses, according to a CNN analysis.

The university has canceled all classes through Sunday, but is still considering how the campus will operate next week when final exams begin, UNLV President Keith Whitfield wrote in a message posted Wednesday on the university’s website.

“Today is a sad day for UNLV,” Whitfield wrote. “We are all still in shock as we process this incomprehensible event.”

“My condolences to the victims of today’s senseless shooting, and my heart breaks for the many students, faculty, staff, parents, loved ones and community members who suffered through hours of painful uncertainty as authorities made sure our campus would be safe and secure. Again,” the university president said.

US President Joe Biden offered his condolences to the families of the victims of Wednesday’s shooting in Las Vegas and this week’s massacre in Texas. Further he asked Republicans in Congress should work with Democrats to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

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“Together, we must do more to prevent more families and communities like Austin, San Antonio and Las Vegas from being torn apart by gun violence,” Biden said.

“Seemed like all the Las Vegas cops were at UNLV”

Police began receiving reports of shots fired at the university around 11:45 a.m., prompting law enforcement, both on and off duty, to rush to campus, the sheriff said.

Campus police also responded to the scene and confronted the suspect outside Beam Hall, where students had gathered minutes earlier to eat and play, McMahill said.

“Had it not been for the heroic actions of one of the responding police officers, there could have been countless more lives,” he said.

Police evacuate students at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas after a shooting Wednesday. (Credit: KM Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Tribune News Service/Getty Images)

A student was eating breakfast outside when the shooting began, he told CNN affiliate KVVU.

“I heard three loud bangs and I was like, ‘Oh, what was that?'” the student said. “The police came and I ran inside.

“Two minutes later, more gunfire. I ran to the basement and I was there for 20 minutes,” the student said. “I heard a lot of gunshots.”

In Beam Hall, a teacher stopped class mid-class as a loud bang echoed through the building. said The student in the second floor classroom was Brett Johnson. But the sound didn’t sound like gunfire at first, so the teacher started the class again.

“Then an alarm went off,” Johnson said. “I’ve never heard an alarm like that, it didn’t sound like a fire alarm.”

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Students in the class began to take things relatively calmly, Johnson said.

“When we started leaving class, things got serious,” he said.

Their teacher’s look turned panicky, and he urged the students to go back, close the door, and lie on the floor.

“If the attacker comes into the classroom, we’re all sitting ducks,” Johnson said.

After a few minutes, the teacher opened the door to check that it was clear and asked the students to run. Johnson said he ran as fast as he could down the stairs of the building. Everyone in the complex was forcing each other to run away, he said.

“It seemed like all the Las Vegas guards were at UNLV,” Johnson added.

The shooting evokes memories of the 2017 massacre

Parents Mabel Fontanilla and Raul Villalonga hug after Wednesday’s shooting on the University of Nevada campus in Las Vegas. (Credit: Rhonda Churchill/AFP/Getty Images)

The university is minutes from the site of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history: the music festival shooting Route 91 Harvest October 1, 2017, in which at least 58 people died and hundreds were injured. In the years since the massacre, two more people have died from gunshot-related injuries.

Officials investigating the UNLV shooting repeatedly referred to the 2017 massacre as “October 1” during a news conference Wednesday.

Sheriff McMahill said the training Las Vegas officers received from Route 91 is how quickly they were able to respond and arrest the gunman at UNLV.

“To see how the time, effort and energy we invested together after October 1 — training the men and women of law enforcement, firefighters and EMS — paid off today, I’m very proud of yours truly. . Sheriff,” he said.

CNN’s Cheri Mossburg, Sara Smart, Steve Almasy, Gillian Roberts, DJ Judd and Cindy Von Quednow contributed to this report.