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UNLV videos capture gunman’s movements

Updated April 4, 2024 - 7:47 pm

Campus surveillance footage released this week captured UNLV gunman Anthony Polito’s movements on Dec. 6, including university police fatally shooting him outside the school of business after he killed three professors.

The first reports of a shooting at Beam Hall were called in at 11:45 a.m. Within seconds, university police and Metropolitan Police Department officers descended on the campus.

The university released more than 20 hours of video and audio that included campus surveillance footage, 911 calls and university police body camera footage.

“These records are a painful reminder of the darkest day in our university’s history,” UNLV President Keith Whitfield said in a statement. “We continue to mourn with the family and friends of our three faculty members whose lives were taken.”

In December, police released video of Polito exiting Beam Hall and engaging in a brief shootout with university police Det. Nathaniel Drum and Officer Damian Garcia. Video released Thursday provided a wider angle of the scene, which included a handful of bystanders who were right outside Beam Hall when Polito walked outside.

Polito, 67, a former business professor who was turned down from multiple jobs at Nevada universities, killed professors Patricia Navarro Velez, 39, Cha Jan “Jerry” Chang, 64, and Naoko Takemaru, 69.

A fourth professor survived life-threatening gunshot wounds.

Video captured Polito arrive on campus in a black sedan. He parked in Lot G and could be seen retrieving items from the front passenger seat as several students walked by Polito’s car.

According to the UNLV description of the videos, university police Officer Cody Schmidt was the first officer to respond to Beam Hall after shots were fired.

Video shows Schmidt leaving the Student Union building before sprinting through an outdoor eating area where several people were sitting. The wounded professor flagged down Las Vegas police officers Jacob Noriega and Ty Vesperas as they sped toward Beam Hall in their police vehicle.

They provided the professor medical aid before loading him into the trunk of the vehicle. They drove him out to an ambulance which transported the professor to the hospital.

“I am so incredibly proud of the men and women who selflessly ran toward danger and our dispatchers who performed their duty with unwavering calm and precision,” university police Chief Adam Garcia said in a statement. “All tried their very best to save lives and help people.”

Contact David Wilson at dwilson@reviewjournal.com.

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