Faculty Members, Not Students, Victims of UNLV Shooting, Says University

by Ryan Lee
UNLV Shooting

Three faculty members of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas were fatally shot by a gunman, who later died in a confrontation with the police. The incident occurred at the university’s Lee Business School on Wednesday, before noon. According to law enforcement sources, students were not the intended targets of the attack.

During the terrifying ordeal, students and staff sought refuge in classrooms and dormitories while the assailant moved through the business school, particularly targeting the fourth floor where the accounting and marketing departments’ offices are situated. A fourth faculty member was critically injured in the incident.

The university, through a statement released on Thursday on X (formerly known as Twitter), confirmed that all the casualties were faculty members. Among the deceased were business school professors Patricia Navarro-Velez and Cha Jan “Jerry” Chang. The identity of the third victim, also a faculty member, is withheld pending family notification. Another faculty member remains hospitalized.

The Debate on Gun Ownership in America

The right to gun ownership in the United States has been a contentious issue, often linked to increasing incidents of violence that impinge on other fundamental rights. Courts in the U.S. have increasingly adopted a more absolute interpretation of the Second Amendment, contributing to the widespread distribution of firearms. With nearly 400 million guns in civilian hands, the country has seen numerous mass shootings, raising concerns over the safety of public spaces, including places of worship, schools, and general pursuit of happiness.

About the Victims

Dr. Patricia Navarro, 39, an accounting professor, was involved in research on cybersecurity disclosures and data analytics. Her colleague, Chang, 64, an associate professor in the Management, Entrepreneurship & Technology department, had been with UNLV since 2001. Chang held degrees from Taiwan, Central Michigan University, Texas A&M University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.

The Attacker: A Failed Job Applicant

The attacker, not yet officially named by authorities, was reportedly a former business professor who had previously applied for a position at UNLV unsuccessfully. Identified as Anthony Polito, 67, by law enforcement sources, he had a tenure at East Carolina University from 2001 to 2017. Investigations led officers to search an apartment in Henderson, Nevada, retrieving several electronic devices, including Polito’s cellphone.

The Community’s Response

The attack has rekindled painful memories of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, the deadliest in modern U.S. history. The rapid response of the authorities, informed by previous experiences, was crucial in preventing further casualties. The university community, including students and faculty, was deeply shaken by the event, with many expressing their shock and distress.

Classes at UNLV were suspended through Friday, and the university’s basketball game at the University of Dayton was also canceled in the wake of the shooting.

[The rest of the report involves contributions from various journalists covering different aspects of the incident and its aftermath.]

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about UNLV Shooting

Were any students killed in the UNLV shooting?

No, the victims of the UNLV shooting were all faculty members, with no students reported killed in the incident.

Who were the victims of the UNLV shooting?

The victims were identified as faculty members of the business school, including professors Patricia Navarro-Velez and Cha Jan “Jerry” Chang. A third faculty member’s identity is withheld until family notification.

What was the motive behind the UNLV shooting?

The motive of the shooter, identified as Anthony Polito, a former business professor, remains unclear. However, he had previously applied unsuccessfully for a job at UNLV.

How has the UNLV community responded to the shooting?

The UNLV community, deeply shaken by the event, suspended classes and canceled a basketball game. The incident has reignited concerns about safety on university campuses.

What does the UNLV shooting reveal about gun ownership in the US?

The shooting underscores ongoing debates about gun rights in America, highlighting the growing concern over public safety amidst the widespread availability of firearms.

More about UNLV Shooting

  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Gun Rights and Violence in America
  • Campus Safety and Security Concerns
  • Mass Shootings in the United States History

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Sarah_89 December 8, 2023 - 1:40 am

its so sad to hear about this kind of violence, why cant we have stricter gun laws? enough is enough!

Linda_K December 8, 2023 - 8:08 am

heartbreaking news. makes you wonder about the safety in our schools, my son goes to UNLV and he’s terrified, schools should be a safe place for everyone.

DaveTheReader December 8, 2023 - 8:31 am

The article mentions the debate over gun rights in america, but I think the focus should be more on mental health and why these shootings keep happening…

Mike Johnson December 8, 2023 - 2:18 pm

wow, this is really shocking, can’t believe this happened at a university. thoughts and prayers for the victims and their families.


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