Las Vegas police: UNLV mass shooter carried target list with names, photos, room numbers

Las Vegas police: UNLV mass shooter carried target list with names, photos, room numbers

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The man who shot and killed three University of Nevada, Las Vegas, professors last year, and injured a fourth, carried a so-called target list with him, which included names and room numbers, according to documents.

A university police officer shot and killed Anthony Polito, 67, about 10 minutes into the mass shooting at Beam Hall on Dec. 6, 2023.

Polito shot and killed Lee Business School professors Dr. Jerry Cha-Jan Chang, Dr. Patricia Navarro Velez, and College of Liberal Arts professor Dr. Naoko Takemaru. A fourth professor, who remained unidentified more than two months later, was hurt.

As the 8 News Now Investigators reported last year, Polito had applied to four positions at the university but was not interviewed for any. Polito also applied for other positions within the Nevada System of Higher Education, but was rejected police said.

Photo of Anthony Polito provided by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
A license photo of Anthony Polito. (LVMPD/KLAS)

In 2019, Polito applied to three assistant professorships in the school’s of hospitality and public health and the UNLV Academic Success Center. He also applied for a lecturer position in the business school’s marketing department, a spokesperson said.

Polito purchased his firearm legally in 2022 in Nevada, police said.

Two of the deceased professors were shot on the school’s third floor, according to investigative documents the 8 News Now Investigators received Thursday through a public records request. One person was killed on the fourth floor and the fourth shooting victim was injured on the fifth, police said.

In a Beam Hall hallway, police found laminated cards, which they described as a target list, with photos, names and room numbers of professors in the school’s business department. The cards also contained photos and names of professors at East Carolina University, documents said. The two-sided cards contain pictures and room numbers for 12 staff, including the dean, vice dean and other professors.

Ten people on Polito’s target list were current UNLV facility, police said. None of the shooting victims are on the cards. Metro police provided the 8 News Now Investigators with the document with the names and faces redacted, citing privacy.

Police arrived on campus at 11:29 a.m. and parked in a lot near Beam Hall, police said. He entered the building at 11:33 a.m. The first 911 call was received at 11:44 a.m. At 11:55 a.m., a university police officer killed Polito.

Before the shooting, Polito sent 22 letters to 21 people across the country from a Las Vegas valley post office, police said. All of the letters contained a white power, which was determined to not be hazardous. No letter was addressed to any current UNLV faculty.

Polito’s online presence depicted him as a scholar. His website listed his resume and educational achievements, including an MBA from Duke University and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.

Photos of Patricia Navarro Veles (left), Naoko Takemaru (center), and Cha Jan “Jerry” Chang provided by UNLV
Polito shot and killed Lee Business School professors Dr. Jerry Cha-Jan Chang, Dr. Patricia Navarro Velez, and College of Liberal Arts professor Dr. Naoko Takemaru. (UNLV/KLAS)

Police found a hidden bookmarks page on Polito’s website, they said. They also noted rejection letters from the CIA and NSA Polito posted were likely fake.

The University of Northern Iowa confirmed Polito was a temporary instructor from 2000 to 2001. The University of Georgia confirmed Polito taught courses during his graduate studies in 2002.

His longest position was as an assistant professor in the College of Business at East Carolina University. A representative confirmed Polito began in 2001 and resigned in 2017 as a tenured associate professor.

His most recent work was at Roseman University in Henderson, according to the school, where he was an adjunct faculty member for the Master of Business Administration program both online and in person.

Polito wrote about his enjoyment of teaching on his LinkedIn page, “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.”

UNLV has closed Beam Hall through at least this semester.

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