Las Vegas gunman who killed 3 at UNLV was rejected for a job he applied for at the school, police say

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 shot dead by police following a confrontation outside the university. Law enforcement officials said he did not apply for the job at University of Nevada, Las Vegas recently, 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.

A motive for the shooting remains unclear. Polito had applied for the job, but not recently, the two senior law enforcement officials said. NBC News reached out to the university for comment.

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.

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