Here’s what to know about the UNLV shooting suspect accused of killing 3, wounding another

The gunman who opened fire Wednesday on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, killing three people and wounding a fourth, had applied for a job at the school but was not hired, according to two senior law enforcement officials briefed on the case.

The officials identified the man as Anthony Polito, 67, who was fatally shot by police following a confrontation outside the university. Law enforcement officials said the job application for UNLV professor was from 2020 and a specific motive for the shooting is unclear.

The shooting began on the fourth floor of Beam Hall and then continued to “multiple” other floors before the suspect was “neutralized,” Las Vegas Police Sheriff Kevin McMahill said.

The victims have not been identified.

Polito kept a personal website about his life, writing about various topics including his professional career, hobbies and claims that he decoded the Zodiac Killer’s messages.

He described himself as a “semi-retired university professor,” writing on his LinkedIn page that one of the “greatest gifts and takeaways I possess from my many years within higher education are the many kind & positive comments students made regarding my instruction and disposition toward them.”

He taught at East Carolina University in North Carolina as an assistant professor in the department of marketing and supply chain management, a university spokesperson said. He began his employment there on Aug. 13, 2001, and resigned on Jan. 17, 2017, as a tenured associate professor.

Several students praised him and his classes, according to posts on

“Dr. Polito’s class is one of my favorite classes that I have taken. He provides so many real-world examples with stories which further drive the understanding of concepts. This isn’t taught as a ‘typical’ class which is looked down on but I have learned so much and retained the concepts in this class than any other class I have taken,” a November 2016 post read.

Another student called him the “best professor at ECU,” according to an October 2016 post.

Others labeled his classes as “unorthodox” and “extremely disorganized,” and said he was “eccentric.” In a post from October 2014, a student wrote that he had spent over two months “just talking about Vegas.”

Polito graduated from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia, where he earned a Ph.D. in management, according to his website. He wrote that he earned an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, a double undergraduate major in mathematics and statistics from Radford University in Virginia, and boasted about being a member of MENSA, the high-IQ society where people have to take a standardized test, score in the top 2%, and pay dues.

A spokesperson for MENSA said he joined in 1980 but let his membership expire by not paying his dues earlier this year.

In one section on his website, he said that he had lived in Georgia, Iowa, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Virginia and Wyoming. He also wrote about his love for Las Vegas.

“Hard to believe, looking back, but I had the pleasure of making more than two dozen trips to Vegas over the last fifteen years,” he wrote. “I don’t gamble that much, but there is plenty to do there, that’s for sure !! Over those years, my steel trap mind collected more information and trivia about Vegas than probably anyone in this state east of I-95 (at least)!”

Students were gathered outside Beam Hall “playing games and eating food” when the shooting began, McMahill said. Freshman Jose Lopez said he was watching YouTube videos on the fourth floor of the business school building when he heard a loud boom, and then another.

“I was scared and my legs started shaking,” Lopez, 18, told NBC News.

He said he briefly “froze like a statue” and then ran to the third floor and hid with other people in an academic advisory office. The group waited there until police came and escorted them to safety.

Connor Friedman, 20, a junior, also heard gunfire.

He said he heard what he initially believed to be construction noise but quickly realized that it was someone firing a gun nearby.

“That’s when I started running,” he said. “It didn’t even feel real at first. It felt like they were lying about the shooting.”

University police were called around 11:45 a.m. local time for reports of an active shooter. Two university police detectives “immediately engaged the suspect in a shootout” that resulted in the gunman’s death, according to university Police Chief Adam Garcia.

University President Keith E. Whitfield called the shooting “unfathomable.”

“Members of our community lost their lives and others were injured. My heart aches for our UNLV family. I know all of us are sending our love and support to the victims, their families, and friends during this difficult time,” Whitfield said in a statement.

The shooting comes six years after the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history took place in Las Vegas, at a country music festival in October 2017. Fifty-eight people were killed and hundreds more were wounded.