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UNLV gunman applied to multiple positions at university in 2019

Updated December 29, 2023 - 6:48 pm

The gunman who opened fire at UNLV earlier this month, killing three professors, had applied to four positions at the university more than four years ago, officials confirmed Friday.

Police have said that the gunman, 67-year-old Anthony Polito, made a “target list” before carrying out the shooting at UNLV’s Lee Business School on Dec. 6. He killed three faculty members — 39-year-old Patricia Navarro Velez, 64-year-old Cha Jan “Jerry” Chang and 69-year-old Naoko Takemaru — and injured a 38-year-old unidentified visiting professor.

None of the professors who he shot were reportedly on the list of staff members found in Polito’s apartment.

Shortly after the shooting, Clark County Sheriff Kevin McMahill announced that Polito had been turned down multiple times from positions at Nevada universities.

In response to a records request from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, UNLV confirmed Friday that Polito had applied to four separate positions during a four-month period in 2019. None of his applications advanced beyond the initial process, and he was not interviewed for any position, according to UNLV.

He had applied to be an assistant professor of hospitality service operations with the Harrah College of Hospitality, an assistant professor in health care administration and policy with the School of Public Health, an assistant professor at UNLV’s Academic Success Center and a lecturer with the Department of Marketing and International Business.

Polito had held various positions in business departments at universities throughout the country.

His most recent position, according to a LinkedIn account that appeared to have been removed shortly after the shooting, was at Roseman University of Health Sciences in Henderson, where he taught a business management class twice in 2020.

He was hired at East Carolina University in 2001 as an assistant professor in the school’s business college and resigned in January 2017 as a tenured associated professor, a spokesperson for the university has previously confirmed. According to records from the University of Northern Iowa, he taught management information systems as a visiting instructor at the school from 2000 through mid-2001.

Police have said that Polito mailed 22 letters from a Henderson post office before the shooting, addressed to university personnel across the country. Polito was shot and killed by two UNLV police officers upon leaving the Business School building.

The gunman’s exact movements during the shooting remain unclear due to a lack of cameras inside the business school, officials have said. Polito carried out the shooting while armed with nearly 150 rounds of ammunition and a legally purchased Taurus 9 mm handgun, according to police.

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