Who is Tony Polito? UNLV Shooting Suspect Identified as 67-Year-Old Professor Whose Job Application was Denied at University of Nevada

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Tony Polito
Tony Polito Twitter

The gunman who opened fire on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, campus in Wednesday's mass shooting that left three dead and a fourth injured is a 67-year-old career college professor with connections to colleges in Georgia and North Carolina, according to a law enforcement source.

As reported by the Associated Press, the professor had applied for a job at the university but was unsuccessful. He previously worked at East Carolina University in North Carolina.The shooter, later identified as Tony Polito, was shot dead by law enforcement, according to Las Vegas Metro Sheriff Kevin McMahill.

Police responded shortly before noon Wednesday to reports of a shooting with multiple victims on the campus, near Beam Hall, the home of the university's Lee Business School, according to a social media post.

At 11:54 a.m. local time, the university posted an emergency notice online, saying, "University Police responding to report of shots fire in BEH evacuate to a safe area, RUN-HIDE-FIGHT." The university then said on X police were responding to "additional report of shots fired in the Student Union," and advised people to evacuate the area.

Students were ordered to shelter in place for hours as law enforcement confronted the suspect and then worked to clear and evacuate campus buildings. The order was lifted around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, the university said in a post on X, noting that there was no longer an active threat on campus.

UNLV Shooting
Law enforcement on the Las Vegas campus of the University of Nevada on Wednesday. Twitter

The gunman went to several floors before he was killed in a shootout with two university detectives outside the building, said UNLV Police Chief Adam Garcia.

"Today is a tragic day for UNLV. We're all still in shock as we process the unfathomable event. Members of our community lost their lives and others were injured. My heart aches for our UNLV family," UNLV President Keith Whitfield said in a statement following the shooting.

There have been 631 mass shootings in the United States this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. There have been 80 US school shootings so far this year, according to a CNN analysis. Of those, 51 shootings have been reported on K-12 campuses and 29 on university and college campuses.

UNLV is located just a few miles away from the location of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. In the Oct. 1, 2017, massacre, a gunman opened fire from a high-rise suite at the Mandalay Bay, killing 60 people attending a music festival below and wounding hundreds others.