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Video shows how police moved through UNLV campus on day of shooting

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  • LAS VEGAS METRO POLICE DEPARTMENT VIA AP
                                In this image made from body camera footage provided by the Las Vegas Metro Police Department, officers run into a building on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus, Wednesday, Dec. 6, in response to reports of a shooting. Police body camera footage from the shooting, which left three people dead and one wounded, was released Wednesday, Dec. 20.

    LAS VEGAS METRO POLICE DEPARTMENT VIA AP

    In this image made from body camera footage provided by the Las Vegas Metro Police Department, officers run into a building on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus, Wednesday, Dec. 6, in response to reports of a shooting. Police body camera footage from the shooting, which left three people dead and one wounded, was released Wednesday, Dec. 20.

LAS VEGAS >> Officers shouted over blaring alarms and knocked down reports of additional gunfire while responding to what became a deadly shooting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, body camera footage released Wednesday showed.

In one video, police officers moved hastily through the university’s business school on Dec. 6 amid a loud, piercing sound and called out for the alarm to be cut off. Commands were difficult to hear and, one officer noted, there was “blood everywhere” near a doorway on the fifth floor, the footage showed.

The suspect, Anthony Polito, was killed in a shootout with police outside the building about 10 minutes after fatally shooting three professors, police later said. Reports of gunfire well after Polito’s death turned out to be the sounds of police trying to break down locked doors to clear classrooms and offices, evacuate students and assess any remaining threats.

The more than five hours of video made public Wednesday was the first of several releases by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, which is leading the investigation. Police have not disclosed a motive for the shooting.

The three professors were inside the business school when they were killed. They are: Naoko Takemaru, 69, an author and associate professor of Japanese studies; Cha Jan “Jerry” Chang, 64, an associate professor in the business school’s Management, Entrepreneurship & Technology department; and Patricia Navarro Velez, 39, an accounting professor focusing on research in cybersecurity disclosures and data analytics.

While police searched door to door in the business school and surrounding buildings, fears about a second shooter continued for more than 40 minutes, according to the videos.

At one point, a dispatcher is heard on a police sergeant’s radio relaying a report that someone was “shooting through the wall.” Another officer quickly responds, saying: “That’s us. We’re breaching doors. There are no shots fired.”

Outside the building, students were eating and playing games about a week before final exams that were canceled in the wake of the shooting. UNLV graduation ceremonies were held this week amid tight security and remembrances of the victims, including a 38-year-old visiting professor who was critically injured.

Police have said the wounded professor was shot on the fifth floor of the business school but managed to walk outside the building, where two police officers found him and placed him into the back of their patrol car.

One of the videos released Wednesday showed the patrol car driving through a grassy area on campus. While one officer drove, the other sat in the back with the victim, the door to the trunk wide open as the officer’s legs dangled out of the trunk.

Clark County Sheriff Kevin McMahill later said Polito had a 9mm handgun and nine ammunition magazines holding more than 150 bullets with him when he died.

The shocking scenes at the 30,000-student campus occurred just miles from the Las Vegas Strip where 58 people died in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The deaths of at least two other people have since been attributed to that Oct. 1, 2017, attack.

Students, faculty members and campus employees barricaded themselves in rooms until officers from nearly every law enforcement agency in southern Nevada converged on campus and escorted them off. Many boarded buses to await interviews with investigators.

Police said Polito, 67, had been turned down for teaching positions at UNLV and other schools and taught courses at the Roseman University of Health Sciences, a private college in suburban Las Vegas between 2018 and 2022.

He left a tenured post in 2017 at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, after teaching business there for more than 15 years.

McMahill characterized Polito as “struggling financially,” pointing to an eviction notice taped on Polito’s apartment door in Henderson. The sheriff said Polito had a “target list” of faculty members from UNLV and East Carolina University, but none of the shooting victims’ names were on it.

University President Keith Whitfield characterized the shooting as “nothing short of life-changing” and vowed that students, faculty and alumni “not ever forget that day.”


Associated Press writers Ty O’Neil and Ken Ritter in Las Vegas and Anita Snow in Phoenix contributed to this report. Stern reported from Reno, Nevada. Stern is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.


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