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1 shot at UNLV parking garage; school vows ‘enhanced’ police presence

Updated May 20, 2024 - 8:58 am

One person was shot and injured at a UNLV parking garage across the street from the university’s main campus late Saturday night.

The gunfire prompted a pledge from administrators to beef up police presence on a campus that is still recovering from a December shooting that left three professors dead and one injured.

Saturday night’s shooting saw a victim taken to a local hospital and released after gunfire was reported at about 11:15 p.m. in the parking garage of the University Gateway Building in the 4700 block of South Maryand Parkway, according to a statement issued Sunday by UNLV.

“There will be an enhanced visible presence by police in the area of the incident and on the main campus,” the UNLV statement read. “The safety and well-being of every member of our university family continues to be of the utmost importance.”

UNLV also said that any members of the university community would be able to access mental health and counseling resources.

Police on Saturday night had already been responding to a “noise complaint in the area when the shooting occurred following an altercation between two groups of people,” said the statement, which was attributed to Keith E. Whitfield, UNLV’s president, and Adam Garcia, the university’s Vice President, Public Safety Services.

The person who was shot was not affiliated with UNLV and did not appear to have been involved in the dispute, the statement said.

The shooter fled south, the university said.

“This appears to have been an isolated incident and there was no threat to UNLV,” the statement said.

University Police Services issued a shelter-in-place alert for residents of the YOU apartments in the University Gateway Building. That alert was lifted at about 1:15 a.m. Sunday.

On Dec. 6, according to police, Anthony Polito, 67, walked into UNLV’s Beam Hall, which houses the Lee School of Business, and shot four professors, killing three and wounding one.

The slain professors were Naoko Takemaru, 69, who headed UNLV’s Japanese Studies Program, Patricia Navarro Velez, 39, who was an assistant accounting professor, and Cha-Jan “Jerry” Chang, 64, who was a professor of management information systems. A 38-year-old visiting professor, who has not been identified, was hospitalized.

In a recent interview with the Review-Journal, Sheriff Kevin McMahill said that fourth faculty member was recovering.

“He has been released from the hospital but the privacy of that individual has been paramount to him,” McMahill said.

UNLV has also been in the news for other issues in recent days including the decision by a significant donor to cut ties with the school because of what she called “adversarial behavior” from university leadership and the dean of the medical school.

As well, the university has also been the site of both pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protests amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict that began with Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel and Israel’s ensuing military response in Gaza.

Although none of those protests have been as violent or disruptive as some of the other high-profile campus protests that have taken place around the country, the school has been put in a position where it has had to publicly acknowledge and answer to concerns and demands put forth by the differing groups of protesters.

Contact Brett Clarkson at bclarkson@reviewjournal.com. Contact Marvin Clemons at mclemons@reviewjournal.com.

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