Accident – Death – Obituary News :
Financially Struggling Academic Identified as Gunman in Deadly UNLV Shooting
In a tragic incident that unfolded at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), authorities have revealed that the gunman responsible for a deadly shooting on Wednesday was a financially struggling academic. The shooter, identified as Anthony James Polito, tragically took the lives of three individuals and injured another before ultimately dying at the scene.
The Identity of the Gunman
Law enforcement officials have confirmed the identity of the perpetrator as 67-year-old Anthony James Polito. Polito, who had previously served as a professor at East Carolina University in North Carolina, had compiled a list of targets at both UNLV and the aforementioned institution where he once taught. Despite having applied for employment at various educational institutions in Nevada, Polito had been denied employment each time, according to authorities.
Authorities discovered that Polito had sent 22 letters to university personnel across the country, with no return address. Fortunately, law enforcement intercepted the letters before they reached their intended recipients. One of the letters contained a suspicious white powdery substance, prompting immediate concern and further investigation.
The tragic UNLV shooting resulted in the deaths of at least three faculty members, none of whom were on Polito’s list of targets. Additionally, a 38-year-old visiting professor sustained life-threatening injuries and remained in critical condition as of Thursday.
UNLV President Keith E. Whitfield expressed his profound grief, stating that the shooting was the university’s most challenging day in its history. Two of the victims were identified as business school professors Patricia Navarro-Velez and Cha Jan “Jerry” Chang.
While the exact motive behind the shooting has yet to be determined, it appears that UNLV students were not the primary targets. However, authorities have noted that Polito had applied for multiple positions at various colleges and universities in Nevada, all of which resulted in rejection.
Sheriff Kevin McMahill of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department revealed that evidence suggested Polito was facing financial difficulties, as an eviction notice was discovered on the door of his residence. Furthermore, Polito had a prior criminal record of computer trespass in Virginia dating back to 1992.
Las Vegas and the Ongoing Issue of Mass Shootings
Regrettably, the UNLV shooting adds to the alarming statistics of mass shootings in the United States. This incident marked the 37th and 38th mass shootings of the year, surpassing last year’s record of 36. A mass shooting is defined as an incident in which four or more people, excluding the perpetrator, lose their lives.
Tragically, this year alone, mass shootings have claimed the lives of at least 203 individuals in the United States. The city of Las Vegas has also witnessed one of the worst mass shootings in the nation’s history. In 2017, a lone gunman positioned in a 32nd-floor suite at the Mandalay Bay Casino unleashed terror, killing 60 people and injuring over 400 others as he fired more than 1,000 rounds into a crowd gathered for a country music festival below.
These devastating incidents serve as solemn reminders of the urgent need for comprehensive measures to address gun violence and ensure the safety of communities across the United States.
Source: AP, Reuters