At least three people were killed, while a fourth was critically wounded following a shooting on Wednesday at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus.
The suspected gunman was killed in a shootout with law enforcement. While the gunman remains unidentified by police, BBC's US partner CBS News has identified him as Anthony Polito, BBC News reports.
Polito, who was in his 60s, was a white former college professor who had taught in Georgia and North Carolina. Although he applied for a job at UNLV, he was not hired.
Per the Associated Press, the shooting took place at about 11:45 am, sending police onto the campus while professors and students kept themselves barricaded inside classrooms and dorm rooms.
According to police, the police began on the fourth floor of the building that houses UNLV’s Lee Business School. UNLV Police Chief Adam Garcia explained Polito then proceeded toward several floors before he was killed in a shootout with two university detectives outside the building.
“It was terrifying. I can’t even begin to explain,” Professor Kevaney Martin, who took cover under a desk in her classroom, said. “I was trying to hold it together for my students and not to cry, but the emotions are something I never want to experience again.”
“Once we got away from UNLV, we parked and sat silently,” she noted. “Nobody said a word. We were in utter shock.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Kevin McMahill, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's sheriff, stated that authorities had “no idea on the motive” of the shooting and did not specify what weapon the suspect used.
Polito’s social media accounts, LinkedIn profile, and Twitter account neither provided any indications as to why he carried out the shooting. Sheriff McMahill commended the university’s forces' response to saving the students who were gathered outside the building to eat food and play games.
"If it hadn't been for the heroic actions of one of those police officers who responded, there could have been countless additional lives taken," he said.
The sheriff added that the fourth victim remains hospitalized in stable condition. An additional four people were taken to the hospital for panic attacks, while two police officers were treated for minor injuries.
In a statement by President Joe Biden, the shooting at UNLV is the "latest college campus to be terrorized by a horrific act of gun violence" and that he and First Lady Jill Biden are "praying for the families of our fallen."
In 2023 alone, there have been more than 630 mass shootings in the United States. Las Vegas is also the location where the deadliest mass shooting in modern history took place in 2017 when a gunman killed over 50 people at a music festival.
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.