University of Nevada, Las Vegas
6572029fe17945001e3cc562 Beam Hall Unlv

Gunman at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, kills 3 faculty members

Dec. 7, 2023
The shooter had unsuccessfully sought a job at the university.

A gunman opened fire on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, campus Wednesday morning and fatally shot three faculty members. A fourth faculty member was seriously wounded.

The gunman died in a shootout with law enforcement, Las Vegas Sheriff Kevin McMahill said.

UNLV disclosed on Thursday that all of the shooting victims were university faculty members.

Two of those killled – Patricia Navarro-Velez and Cha Jan “Jerry” Chang – were members the Lee Business School faculty, UNLV President Keith Whitfield said. The third fatality, also a UNLV faculty member, will be identified following notification of next of kin. 

Navarro-Velez, 39, an assistant professor of accounting, joined UNLV nearly five years ago as a professor of accounting, where she primarily focused on teaching accounting information systems. 

Chang, 64, was a longtime educator of management information systems, spending more than 20 years of his academic career teaching UNLV Lee Business School students.

"We are all hurting right now," Whitfield said. "But it’s in these trying times that we need to lean on one another for support. I urge you to check in on each other and utilize counseling services if you need them."

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the shooter has been identified as Anthony Polito, 67, a professor who unsuccessfully sought a job at UNLV.

The shooting began inside Beam Hall, which houses the Lee Business School. The gunman began to shoot on the fourth floor of Beam Hall and then moved to other floors. Faculty and students were alerted to the danger by a text message from the University Police Department at 11:51 a.m. Wednesday.

Once outside, the suspect exchanged gunfire with police and was shot to death by a UNLV officer.

The UNLV campus will remain closed through Friday, according to university police Chief Adam Garcia.

NBC News reports that Polito taught at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, as an assistant professor in the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management. The university said he began working there there on Aug. 13, 2001, and resigned on Jan. 17, 2017, as a tenured associate professor.



About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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