UNLV Mass Shooter Identified…Here’s Who He Was

In a shocking incident that unfolded on Wednesday at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), a mass shooting resulted in the loss of three lives. The perpetrator, Anthony Polito, a 67-year-old former professor, had previously applied for a professorship at UNLV but was unsuccessful in securing the position.

Anthony Polito: The Man Behind the Tragedy

Anthony Polito, a resident of Las Vegas, had an extensive academic background. He attended Radford University in Virginia, where he completed a double major in mathematics and statistics. He further pursued his education at Duke University, earning a master’s degree, and later completed his doctorate of philosophy at the University of Georgia. Polito served as an associate professor at East Carolina University for over 15 years before his retirement in January 2017.

The Shooting and its Immediate Aftermath

The shooting occurred around 11:45 a.m. on the fourth floor of Beam Hall, UNLV’s business school, near the student union building. Law enforcement sources revealed that Polito was armed with a handgun during the rampage. Upon arrival, the police discovered three individuals dead at the scene, while a fourth person was rushed to the hospital in critical but stable condition. Additionally, four others were hospitalized due to panic attacks, and two officers sustained minor injuries while clearing the buildings.

Unraveling the Motives: Failed Job Application and Unsettling Claims

Polito’s unsuccessful job application at UNLV has raised questions about the potential motive for the shooting. According to law enforcement sources, Polito’s frustration at being denied a professorship may have sparked his violent act. However, his personal website sheds light on his interests and unconventional claims. Polito claimed to have solved the mystery of the Zodiac Killer, a notorious unidentified serial killer from the late 1960s, and even asserted that he had unraveled the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. These assertions, along with his interpretation of the film “Inception,” showcased his unique perspective.

A Glimpse into Polito’s Life and Interests

Polito’s personal website, which he maintained for several years, provides insights into his personal life and interests. Expressing his fondness for Las Vegas, he claimed to have visited the city over two dozen times in the past 15 years. While not an avid gambler, Polito found plenty to do in the city. He also shared his favorite music, including Frank Sinatra, Selena, Elton John, and Willie Nelson. In terms of movies, Polito expressed his admiration for “Apocalypse Now,” Oliver Stone’s “JFK,” and Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead,” stating that each film presented powerful arguments.

Controversial Views and Influences

Polito’s website also showcased his views on various topics. He listed individuals he considered the “Great Minds of the Twentieth Century,” including George Soros, Nikola Tesla, and Carl Sagan. Additionally, he listed organizations he believed were involved in world domination, such as the Rothschild family, the National Security Administration, and even the Economics Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Notably, some of his views and links on the website connected to far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

Positive Feedback as a Professor

Despite the tragic events that unfolded, Polito had received commendation for his work as a professor. According to his LinkedIn profile, he cherished the positive comments from his students regarding his teaching methods and disposition. Students praised his organization, approachability, and real-world examples that enhanced their understanding of course material. Polito’s teaching style resonated with students, and many recommended him to their peers.

Lockdown and Evacuation

In response to the shooting, UNLV promptly placed the campus on lockdown, ensuring the safety of students and staff. Police swiftly evacuated the premises, conducting a thorough search floor by floor, room by room, and building by building. This systematic approach aimed to ensure that no potential threats remained on campus.

Ongoing Investigation and Search for Motive

As investigators continue to piece together the events surrounding the shooting, they are exploring various angles to determine Polito’s motive. Although the victims were not students but faculty or staff at the university, their connection to the school may be a potential motive for the shooting. Law enforcement officials are actively searching Polito’s residence in Henderson, Nevada, and analyzing his phone for any clues that may shed light on his motivations.


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