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UNLV shooting suspect was a professor who had applied for a job: AP source

Introduction

In a shocking incident that unfolded on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), a former professor, who had previously applied for a job at the institution, opened fire, leaving three people dead and another critically injured. The assailant met his end in a shootout with the police, marking the worst shooting incident in Las Vegas since the tragic events of October 2017. As the details continue to emerge, the UNLV community is left grappling with grief and shock, trying to make sense of the senseless violence that unfolded within the walls of the Lee Business School.

The Suspect’s Identity

Law enforcement sources, speaking to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity due to the ongoing investigation, revealed that the gunman was a former professor who had unsuccessfully sought employment at UNLV. The source further disclosed that the suspect had previously worked at East Carolina University in North Carolina, shedding light on the potential motives that may have led to this horrifying act. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has yet to release an official statement, leaving many questions unanswered.

The Attack Unfolds

The tragic events unfolded on Wednesday when the assailant opened fire on the fourth floor of the Lee Business School building. Students and faculty were quick to respond to the emergency, following the widely recognized “Run-Hide-Fight” protocol as the shooter moved through multiple floors of the building. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Kevin McMahill recounted the incident during a press conference, highlighting the heroism of the responding officers who engaged the suspect in a shootout outside the building, ultimately ending the threat.

A police officer works the scene of a shooting on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023, in Las Vegas. (Madeline Carter/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)

McMahill emphasized the potential for even greater loss of life, stating that the quick and courageous actions of law enforcement prevented further tragedy. The first 911 calls were made at 11:45 a.m., and the police chief noted that two officers sustained minor injuries while searching campus rooms and buildings during the incident. The all-clear was given approximately 40 minutes after the initial report of an active shooter.

City Still Healing from Past Trauma

The UNLV shooting has rekindled painful memories for Las Vegas, which experienced one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history in October 2017. The 2017 incident, where a gunman opened fire from a Mandalay Bay casino room, resulted in 60 deaths and over 400 injuries. The recent tragedy has once again put the city in the spotlight for gun violence, raising concerns about the safety and security of public spaces.

Classes and school activities at UNLV have been canceled through Sunday, as the community mourns the loss of lives and supports those affected by the incident. In a ripple effect, the UNLV basketball game at the University of Dayton, Ohio, was canceled as well, highlighting the broader impact of such incidents on collegiate activities.

A shooter opened fire at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas on Wednesday. (AP Digital Embed)

The Victims and the Unknown

As of now, authorities have not released the identities of the victims, the attacker, or details regarding the weapons and motive behind the shooting. Witnesses reported hearing as many as 20 shots during the attack, adding to the chaotic and terrifying nature of the incident. The lack of information leaves the UNLV community and the public at large in a state of uncertainty and anxiety.

President Whitfield’s Response

UNLV President Keith E. Whitfield expressed profound sadness and grief in a statement released following the tragic events. He acknowledged the loss of lives within the university community and extended condolences to the victims’ families and friends. Whitfield emphasized the availability of mental health support services and counseling on campus, recognizing the emotional toll such incidents can take on students and staff.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas, student Carlos Casillas, 23, second from right, prays at the Las Vegas Convention Center reunification area where he was transported after a fatal shooting at the campus in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023. (Wade Vandervort/Las Vegas Sun via AP)

The university is actively cooperating with law enforcement agencies as they conduct a thorough investigation into the shooting. The collaboration aims to uncover the motives behind the attack, provide answers to the grieving community, and contribute to preventing similar incidents in the future.

Conclusion

The UNLV shooting has left an indelible mark on the university and the city of Las Vegas, reopening wounds from the past and raising urgent questions about campus security and the prevalence of gun violence. As the investigation unfolds, the UNLV community, along with the nation, awaits answers about the motives behind the attack and the factors that may have contributed to this tragic event. In the midst of sorrow, the resilience of the community shines through as they come together to support one another and seek healing in the aftermath of this senseless act of violence.

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