LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – On Thursday afternoon, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and UNLV Police officials provided more details about yesterday’s deadly shooting on campus.
LVMPD Sheriff Kevin McMahill began by recounting yesterday’s events, noting that the suspect was Anthony James Polito, 67. He stated that Polito was armed with a Taurus 9 mm handgun that he legally purchased in Henderson in 2022, and that the suspect drove to campus with 11 magazines for the weapon, including nine loaded magazines on his person at the time he was shot and killed by university police.
Investigators located the suspect’s 2007 Lexus, which he used to drive to UNLV. A camera onboard revealed that the suspect went to a Henderson Post Office earlier in the day. After combing through over 14,000 pieces of mail, police and postal investigators determined that Polito sent 22 letters with no return address to “university personnel across the country.”
Sheriff McMahill added that investigators are still working to process the letters and don’t know the exact contents of each, but he noted that one of them contained a white, powdery substance inside.
“We’re still learning a lot about this suspect,” the sheriff observed. “And still trying to understand motive.” McMahill said that Polito had applied “numerous times” for jobs with institutions of higher education but that the suspect was “denied each time.”
The sheriff also said that a search of Polito’s residence resulted in finding ammunition consistent with that used in the shooting, as well as a clearly marked document “similar to a last will and testament.”
UNLV Police Chief Adam Garcia followed, striking a more solemn tone as he addressed the tragedy.
“Yesterday, we lost members of our Rebel family,” he noted. He praised the work of first responders, stating that the first university police officer arrived at Beam Hall just 78 seconds after the shooting was reported.
Garcia added that the swift initial actions “no doubt saved lives.”
Professor Cha Jan Chang, 64, known as “Jerry,” and Assistant Professor Patricia Navarro Velez, 39, are the two victims that were identified. The identity of the third victim killed will not be released until next of kin have been notified.
A surviving victim remains at Sunrise Hospital, in a condition that was reportedly downgraded to life-threatening.
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