Anthony-Polito named as suspect who killed three staff at UNLV

Anthony Polito named as suspect who killed three staff at UNLV with a handgun before being shot dead by cops after being DENIED a job at the faculty

  • The gunman who shot dead three people at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, is thought to have had a connection to someone at the school
  • Tony Polito, 67, maintained a website detailing his interest in Sin City, conspiracy theories as well as fawning tributes from his former students  

A business studies professor who maintained a website featuring a section dedicated to the Zodiac serial killer shot-and-killed three people at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, after being denied a job at the school on Wednesday.

The suspect, Anthony Polito, opened fire on the fourth floor of the Lee Business School at 11:45am, prompting a massive response from law enforcement. Around 20 minutes after their arrival, officers located the gunman, shooting him dead. 

Officials say that Polito, 67, was armed with a pistol during the attack which began after his application for a professorship was rejected. Polito was on staff at East Carolina University in North Carolina between 2001 and 2017. 

None of those who were killed were students. In addition to the three deceased people, another person was wounded and remains in critical condition. 

For years, the killer maintained a website about his life, among other things, he posted about having decoded cryptic messages sent by the killer in the unsolved Zodiac murder case. 

In another section of that page, Polito wrote about his love of Las Vegas, conspiracy theories as well as posting fawning praise from former students. 

Anthony Polito (pictured) has been named as the deceased suspect in the University of Nevada, Las Vegas shooting

Police are seen on Wednesday are seen running to the scene of the mass shooting at the Las Vegas campus

Students are seen evacuating the site of Wednesday’s shooting at the University of Nevada campus

Two women are seen making phone calls to say they are OK after Wednesday’s shooting

Police in Las Vegas are seen on Wednesday morning at the site of the college shooting 

Las Vegas PD surround the Las Vegas University campus on Wednesday evening 

The investigation will continue into the night as detectives work around the clock to find out more information 

‘I have lived in Georgia, Iowa, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Virginia and Wyoming. In my travels, I especially enjoyed Jackson Hole, The Outer Banks, Key West … and, of course, Durham,’ he writes on the biography section of the site.

His musical tastes range from crooners such as Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin to folk musicians such as Willie Nelson and Joni Mitchell. 

In his favorite movie section, Polito’s argues that each ‘argues a truth with powerful eloquence.’

Some of his favorite movies include Michael Moore’s Roger & Me, Oliver Stone’s conspiracy-laden JFK and the film version of Ayn Rand’s conservative epic, The Fountainhead. 

Polito lists among the the ‘Great Minds of the Twentieth Century,’ Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein and George Soros. 

There is another section titled: ‘Powerful Organizations Bent on Global Domination!’ 

Among the organizations listed are the Rothchild family, Bilderberg Group, the International Monetary Fund and Economics Department of MIT. 

In that section, Polito posted a link to a website created by far-right wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. 

Elsewhere on the page, Polito lists his own personal theories on various mysteries including, the Zodiac killer, the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 and the true meaning of the 2010 Leonardo DiCaprio movie Inception. 

A message reading “#UNLVStrong #VegasStrong” is displayed at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas

In addition to the three deceased people, another person was wounded and remains in critical condition

Polito shows on the site that he is also passion about Las Vegas. 

‘I had the pleasure of making more than two dozen trips to over the last fifteen years. I don’t gamble that much, but there is plenty to do there, that’s for sure !! Over those years, my steel trap mind collected more information and trivia about Vegas than probably anyone in this state east of I-95,’ he writes on the site. 

He goes on to include a list of his favorite hotels and nightspots in Vegas.

Poilto earned his degrees at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business where he gained a Doctor of Philosophy. 

He also listed a Master of Business Administration at The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and attended Radford University where he completed a Bachelor of Science, Mathematics and Statistics as a double major. 

His failed job application was reported by 8 News Now, with sources telling the site that he may also have had connections to a person who works on campus. 

Polito pictured in 1971 in an image posted on his website

On his LinkedIn page, Polito claimed to enjoy hearing positive feedback from his students.   

‘The greatest gifts and takeaways I possess from my many years within higher education are the many kind & positive comments students made regarding my instruction and disposition toward them,’ he wrote. 

On his page, one student praised him as ‘one of the best teachers’, writing: ‘I had the chance to have Dr. Polito as my teacher for my Operations Management course that I took in fall 2013. 

‘Dr. Polito teaches students about things that happen in the real world that we will be able to apply in our careers. He definitely knows his course material and every new class covers interesting topics. One of the best teachers I’ve had so far.’

Polito listed his skills as public speaking, research, student affairs, teaching and statistics, among others. 

While over on his website, Polito published 109 pages of alleged positive affirmations regarding his teaching from students. 

‘Polito is very organized with the prepared notes. He is approachable and seems very open to student concerns and ideas. His ‘real world’ experiences provide anecdotes that clarify course material. He is a definite asset to the Management department,’ one wrote.

‘I feel that the strength of this course was the professor. Dr. Polito is a great instructor,’ wrote another. While another said: ‘Teaching was unorthodox but it definitely worked!’ 

Students are seen being evacuated from the building at the University of Nevada campus

Sheriff Kevin McMahill said the suspect is dead. He added: ‘Right now, we know there are three victims, but the extent of their injuries is unknown. That number could change. We will update you when we know more’

A SWAT team truck is pictured at the campus in Las Vegas on Wednesday

Video published by Fox Las Vegas late Wednesday showed a swarm of police officers searching his home in the Henderson-section of the city. 

Prior to entering the apartment complex, neighbors said that police made an announcement over a loud speaker telling those inside that they would be breaching the building. 

Those neighbors also said that they heard two flash bang grenades go off in the hallways.  

The three people who died in the shooting have not been named. A fourth victim was shot but is in a stable condition, said Sheriff Kevin McMahill, speaking at a press conference on Wednesday night.

He said four additional people are in hospital after suffering panic attacks, and two officers were treated for minor injuries.

McMahill praised the ‘heroic’ officer who stopped Polito, but said they were unable to specify what weapon was used.

Joe Biden said the shooting – coming the day after six were shot dead in Austin and San Antonio – was ‘not normal, and we can never let it become normal.’

The president said he was saddened that the university ‘became the latest college campus to be terrorized by a horrific act of gun violence.’ 

He thanked the first responders, and said it showed that more must be done to end the epidemic of gun violence. 

‘This year alone, our nation has experienced more than 600 mass shootings, and approximately 40,000 deaths due to gun violence. This is not normal, and we can never let it become normal,’ he said, in a statement issued by the White House.

‘For all the action we have taken since I’ve been President, the epidemic of gun violence we face demands that we do even more. 

‘But we cannot do more without Congress. Republican lawmakers must join with Democrats in Congress to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, pass a national red flag law, enact universal background checks, require the safe storage of guns, and advance other commonsense measures that will help stem the tide of gun violence. 

‘And together, we must do more to prevent more families, and more communities like Austin, San Antonio, and Las Vegas, from being ripped apart by gun violence.’

Biden was already set to visit Las Vegas this Friday to deliver remarks on infrastructure, and the shooting has not changed his plans.

He is expected in Vegas on Friday, and will travel to Los Angeles for the weekend.

Adam Garcia, the director of university police services, said the first 911 call came in at 11:45am. 

‘Officers immediately responded and engaged the suspect,’ said Garcia. He said the suspect was shot and killed by the officers.

‘The entire Nevada system of higher education and campuses are closed, out of an abundance of caution. There is no threat to other campuses, but they are closed out of an abundance of caution.’

A huge police presence including tactical teams were seen scrambling to the college after an alert was issued to students, warning them to ‘RUN-HIDE-FIGHT.’

In response to the campus shootings, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a ground stop of all flights coming into Harry Reid International Airport. The university is roughly two miles north of the airport. 

Less than an hour after the alert was released, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department announced the suspect was deceased. The force said the investigation is ongoing. 

Officials said ‘multiple victims’ had been targeted in the attack.

Early reports indicate additional shots may have been fired in the college’s student union, and officials evacuated buildings one at a time. 

Tactical teams were seen moving through the University of Nevada’s Las Vegas campus as students were cautioned to ‘RUN-HIDE-FIGHT’

Terrified students were seen being evacuated from the campus on Wednesday following reports of an active shooter on campus

A student at the university is seen on his phone at the Las Vegas campus on Wednesday 

Tactical officers were seen scoping the scene from a building’s roof as the campus was placed on lockdown 

Shots were reported at Frank and Estella Beam Hall, the business school, and also at the adjacent students’ union

Police patrol cars are seen at the campus in Las Vegas on Wednesday

The first 911 call was received at 11:45am on Wednesday, police said

Police are seen on Wednesday being briefed about the campus shooting

Footage shared to social media appears to show tactical crews moving through the campus, with officers seen scoping out the scene from a building’s roof. 

Officials said several victims were rushed to a local hospital, with one reportedly placed on alert for a ‘mass casualty event.’ 

The campus is in the heart of Las Vegas, across from the Harry Reid International Airport and near to the city’s strip.

It is only a few miles from the site of the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history: a gunman opened fire on the crowd at the Route 91 Music Festival in October 2017, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds more. The high-stakes gambler who carried out the shooting was angry over how the casinos were treating him despite his high-roller status, the FBI concluded.

Student John Harris heard what he later realized was a gunshot as he was getting out of his car in the parking garage of an on-campus apartment complex. In the elevator, Harris said he got an emergency text alert text from the university.

‘I wasn’t sure what to believe,’ said Harris, 21, who ended up sheltering at a friend’s dorm. 

He told AP: ‘But as I came down to the street, and I saw there were a bunch of cops in the parking lot at the student union, I knew what I heard was a gunshot and this wasn’t a drill.’

A witness to Wednesday’s attack told Fox News they heard several shots ring out through the campus, before they were evacuated by police. 

‘(I heard) boom, boom, boom, more shots,’ she said. ‘So I ran into the basement and I heard shots outside, heard police, and then the police just evacuated me out. 

‘I had my hands over my head and yeah, I was hearing a lot of shots. I did not know how many shooters there were. I did not really know anything.’ 

An English professor at UNLV, Vincent Perez, told MSNBC that he heard seven or eight loud gunshots ‘one after another’, when he looked out across the campus from the balcony of a building. 

‘We realized this is a real shooting, and there’s an active shooter on campus,’ he said. 

‘It just sounded like a high-powered weapon — just echoing, echoing in a way that … makes you realize this is somebody out to kill people.’ 

A huge police presence descended on the campus, and officials confirmed the suspect was dead less than an hour after an alert went out warning students of a school shooter 

Students were led out of buildings one at a time, as officials insisted the investigation into the shooting is ongoing 

Another witness said: ‘We could hear the gunshots from where we were. It was about 200 kids all in one space and a lot of people were panicking.’ 

They said the group were in the middle of a presentation in a board room of the student union, which flew into a panic as everyone inside received a text alert at the same time. 

‘They said they put the building on lock down,’ they said. 

‘They shut all the curtains. Everyone moved to one side of the room. After that, it was a lot of waiting for 20 minutes and we got told to move to a corner.

‘And we heard a lot of yelling. That is where stuff started to get more hectic… the yelling was officers and they came in and we all put our hands up and they escorted us all the way out here… I did see one glass shattered, it looks like by two gunshots.’ 

Another witness in the student union said they could hear ‘screaming from next door’ as they lay in hiding. 

‘We were located at the student union, which is where it all went down. But it was just super scary hearing that. We all as a class… we were just so scared,’ they said. 

‘I feel like we should have shut the lights off or something. But we definitely went in the corner, evacuated, and, you know, we wanted more because we got these alerts and we were kind of scared.’

A witness to the chaos said they heard ‘screaming’ from the room next to them, and the situation left them terrified 

The terrified students praised the university’s reaction to the shooting, saying they had rolling updates ‘that was great.’ 

UNLV first reported the incident in a post on X at about 11:53am, saying: ‘University Police responding to report of shots fire in BEH evacuate to a safe area, RUN-HIDE-FIGHT.’

In a second post at 11:59am, the school confirmed that university police were ‘responding to a confirmed active shooter situation in BEH. This is not a test.’

At 12:04pm, Las Vegas police confirmed that officers were responding to preliminary reports of an active shooter on UNLV’s campus. 

At 12:32 pm, Las Vegas police updated that one suspect had been located and was deceased. 

‘There appears to be multiple victims at this time,’ LVMPD said, advising people to avoid the area.

Professor Kevaney Martin took cover under a desk in her classroom, where another faculty member and three students took shelter with her.

‘It was terrifying, I can’t even begin to explain,’ Martin said. ‘I was trying to hold it together for my students, and trying not to cry, but the emotions are something I never want to experience again.’

Martin said she was texting friends and loved ones, hoping to receive word a suspect had been detained. When another professor came to the room and told everyone to evacuate, they joined dozens of others rushing out of the building. Martin had her students piled into her car and drove them off campus.

‘Once we got away from UNLV, we parked and sat in silence,’ she told AP. ‘Nobody said a word. We were in utter shock.’

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Wednesday she was aware of the shooting.

‘Obviously, we’re going to continue to monitor what’s currently occurring. I don’t want to get ahead of what local enforcements are probably dealing with at this time,’ she said. 

The US has already broken the record for the most mass shootings in a single year, following murders at the weekend. There have been 717 so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

The previous record was set in 2021, when there were 689. 

Source: Read Full Article