Former students of the Las Vegas gunman have come forward to share accounts of his "odd fixation" with Sin City and his unconventional teaching methods. Despite this, his website reportedly includes a peculiar 109-page document that outlines anonymous praise from people who were supposedly in his class.
Tony Polito, 67, was shot dead by the police on Wednesday after launching a 40-minute rampage on the University of Nevada's Las Vegas campus. During this violent episode, he took the lives of three staff members at the university. This came as it was revealed that Polito had a legally purchased 9mm handgun and 11 loaded magazines on him when he was shot dead.
Bizarre Mental State
Following a query from a local news station on social media about encountering Polito, several startled former students shared their experiences. Several recounted his fascination with the city of Las Vegas.
"I took his class when I was at East Carolina. His class was among my least favorites," Paul Whittington, one of his former students said. "He was a poor instructor and had an odd fixation with Las Vegas. Spent more than half the class talking about all his trips to Las Vegas."
Some former students condemned Polito, describing him as a "grease ball" with an "obsession with Las Vegas."
Interestingly, anonymous reviews he included on his website presented a contrasting view, praising him as "the man" and acknowledging him for providing students with a "wonderful learning experience."
Authorities have not yet released a motive for Tony Polito's shooting spree. However, it was revealed that he wrote a twisted 15-page theory on the Zodiac killer and posted about "powerful organizations bent on global domination."
The motive behind Polito's targeting of the UNLV campus appears to be linked to a rejection he received from the college for a teaching position in the past. Former associates and students have noted his peculiar fixation on Las Vegas, despite not living in the city.
"He was my professor. He definitely enjoyed talking about his Vegas trips and how he exclusively stayed at the Wynn hotel," one said.
"That greese ball (sic) spent all class talking about his trips to Vegas," another student said.
The anonymous praise that Polito detailed on his website also contained a reference to Las Vegas. One alleged student claimed that Polito's use of Sin City helped them in "understanding of how a business operates in the REAL WORLD."
It's worth noting that many of these reviews seem to share very similar language, commending him for using "real-life examples" and being "very knowledgeable."
Purchased Gun Legally Before Carnage
Images circulated on social media suggesting that Polito's LinkedIn page included an "in memoriam" section after he was killed by the police. However, it appears that the profile has been deleted from the platform.
The professor, who used a handgun in the massacre, had connections to schools in other states and served on staff at East Carolina University in North Carolina from 2001 to 2017.
Investigators have indicated that the focus of the investigation will now shift to Polito's home in Henderson, Nevada.
It came as it was revealed that Polito had a legally purchased 9mm handgun and 11 loaded magazines in his possession at the time of his death.
Before the shooting, Polito reportedly mailed 22 letters to university faculty members across the United States. The contents of these letters were not immediately disclosed, according to Sheriff Kevin McMahill on Wednesday.
Authorities were able to intercept some of the letters, and the first one opened contained an "unknown white powder substance."
Sheriff McMahill said that police have contacted everyone on the suspect's target list, except for one person who was on a flight at the time. Fortunately, none of those on the target list became victims.
Authorities searched Polito's apartment in nearby Henderson, Nevada, late Wednesday. They retrieved several electronic devices, including Polito's cellphone, and found a document resembling a "last will and testament."
On Thursday, the first victims were identified as Patricia Navarro-Velez, 39, a member of the university's accounting department, and Cha Jan 'Jerry' Chang, 64, a longstanding professor. The tragic incident has left the university community and the victims' families grappling with grief.
A third victim, also a faculty member, has been identified, but their name will not be disclosed until their next of kin is notified.