The shooter who killed three people Wednesday at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, was a 67-year-old career college professor who applied for a job at the university but not been hired.
The murderer died at the scene after a confrontation with police outside a university building, Las Vegas Metro Sheriff Kevin McMahill said. He was identified as Anthony Polito, that source and another source in law enforcement said. Investigators are looking into the possibility Polito may have been passed over for a job at UNLV.
People who knew Polito during his time teaching at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, described him as eccentric, who spent a lot of time talking about Las Vegas. “If you can imagine a college class where you just relive someone’s vacation, like, that was kind of his class,” a former student said.
Other students praised him for injecting real-world examples into his business classes.
“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. Another said, “Teaching was unorthodox, but it definitely worked!”
He Had a Hit List
Before he went on his murderous spree, he mailed letters to 22 various university personnel across the country. Please also say that Polito had applied for multiple jobs within the Nevada higher education system but was always denied.
He did not include a return address in the letters. One of the letters had a white substance in it. Polito had a list with him containing names of faculty members on LV’s campus and at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, where he worked from 2001 to 2017. He was apparently seeking the people on the list. According to Jim Gibson, the Clark County Commission chairman, students were not the target here.
None of the people on the list were victims of the attack.
Two of the three victims who have been identified are Patricia Navarro Velez, 39, who was an assistant professor of accounting, and Jerry Chang, 64, who was a professor of business. The identity of the third victim was not released. A fourth victim is hospitalized in critical condition.
He was fascinated with the Zodiac killer of the 1960s and claimed to have solved the case.
On a website using the name Tony Polito, the suspect claimed to have solved the Zodiac Killer’s famous cipher, naming a well-known suspect as the killer. He also wrote that he had “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.”
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 Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, and George Soros among the ‘Great Minds of the Twentieth Century.