The UNLV shooting victims have been identified. Here’s what we know.

Las Vegas MPD Sheriff McMahill identifies UNLV shooting suspect and 2 victims killed

Las Vegas MPD Sheriff McMahill identifies UNLV shooting suspect and 2 victims killed


Authorities have identified the three victims killed during Wednesday’s shooting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, campus. 

On Thursday, the Clark County Office of the Coroner/Medical Examiner identified two of the victims as Cha Jan Chang, 64, a professor at the university, and Patricia Navarro Velez, 39, an assistant professor. 

Chang, who was also known as Jerry, died from a gunshot wound to the head, and Velez died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds, the medical examiner said. 

Authorities have identified the third deceased victim but are waiting to notify the next of kin. According to two law enforcement sources, the third victim was also not a student. 

The fourth wounded victim, a 38-year-old male visiting professor, remains in the hospital where his condition has been downgraded to life-threatening, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sheriff Kevin McMahill said in a news conference Thursday afternoon. 

McMahill identified the shooter as 67-year-old Anthony Polito. The shooter was a long-time business professor who sought a professor position at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas and was denied. He had applied “numerous times” for jobs at multiple Nevada colleges “and was denied each time,” McMahill said.

According to police, the shooter arrived on the UNLV campus around 11:28 a.m. in a 2007 Lexus armed with a Taurus 9 mm handgun he purchased legally in 2022 and 11 magazines, which he had in carriers strapped to his body. McMahill said police are not sure exactly how many rounds were fired, but nine loaded magazines were recovered after the shooting.

Shots were first reported to police around 11:45 a.m., McMahill said.

The shooter exited Beam Hall, the building where the shooting occurred, at 11:55 a.m., when he was shot multiple times by police officers in a gunfight captured on security footage. He died on the scene, police said. 

New details about the shooter emerge

As police continue their investigation, they have learned more about the shooter and his actions leading to the shooting. 

The shooter had a previous criminal history of computer trespass out of Virginia in 1992, police said. 

On the morning of the shooting, he visited a post office in Henderson, Nevada, and sent 22 letters to various university personnel across the country with no return address, police said.

Police said they do not know the contents of those letters and are working with the postal inspector and federal partners to process them. One of the letters was found and when authorities opened it they found a white powder, McMahill said.

A search warrant was executed at the shooter’s Henderson residence, where police recovered multiple items, including a chair with an arrow pointing down to a document that was similar to a will, several computers and hard drive components, as well as ammunition consistent with cartridge cases found at UNLV and a box for a handgun consistent with the one the shooter used, police said. 

The shooter also had a list of people he was seeking on the UNLV campus and Eastern Carolina University, police said. 

Police determined the shooter had money issues, and he even had an eviction notice taped to his front door in Henderson. 

Police said they believe the shooter acted alone. 

Pat Milton and Andy Triay contributed reporting.

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