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

UNLV shooting victims identified
UNLV shooting victims identified 02:53

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

The Clark County Office of the Coroner/Medical Examiner released the names of two of the victims on Thursday: Jerry Cha-Jan Chang, 64, a professor of business at the university, and Patricia Navarro-Velez, 39, an assistant professor of accounting. The office released the name of the third victim, Naoko Takemaru, 69, an associate professor of Japanese studies, on Friday.

Chang died from a gunshot wound to the head, and Navarro-Velez and Takemaru died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds, the medical examiner said. 

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. 

The victims were found on three different floors of Beam Hall. Two of the people who were killed were found on the third floor and the third person who was killed was found on the fourth floor. 

The wounded victim is believed to have been shot on the fifth floor, but he managed to get to the ground floor on his own before being taken to the hospital. McMahill said Thursday afternoon that authorities were not sure in what order the victims had been shot.

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. The powder was found to be "harmless," the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said later Thursday night.

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. None of the people who were shot were on the list, McMahill said in a statement Thursday night.

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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