Man who killed 3 at Nevada university was UGA graduate

LAS VEGAS — A man identified by ABC News sources as the suspect in Wednesday’s deadly shooting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas has ties to Georgia.

Multiple law enforcement sources tell ABC News that 67-year-old Anthony Polito is the suspect accused of killing three people and critically injuring one person.

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ABC News learned that Polito has previous ties to North Carolina and Georgia, including a LinkedIn page for Polito that listed the University of Georgia under his education section.

On Thursday morning, school officials confirmed to Channel 2 Action News that Polito received his Ph.D. at UGA in 2002.


Police have not said what motive is suspected behind the shooting. However, multiple sources tell ABC News that Polito applied for a job at UNLV but was not hired. The Associated Press also confirmed with a law enforcement official that the suspect sought a position at the school.

Three victims died in the shooting and a fourth victim was critically injured. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Kevin McMahill said in a news conference that the fourth victim was upgraded to stable on Wednesday night. Two officers were treated for minor injuries, McMahill said.

The victims have not been identified.

Channel 2′s Audrey Washington talked to Dr. Thaddeus Johnson, a professor of criminology at Georgia State University, about what Polito’s motivation may have been.

“Sometimes things can happen in people’s lives and that’s the final straw,” Johnson said. “Oftentimes when you see these random events that happen in public places, it’s almost as if people want to send a message.”

McMahill referred to the shooting on Wednesday “a heinous, unforgivable crime.”

“There was a gathering just outside of the building where the students were playing games and eating food,” he said. “There were tables set up for them to build Legos, and if it hadn’t been for the heroic actions of one of the police officers who responded, there could have been countless additional lives taken.”

The names of the victims have not been released. The campus will remain closed for the rest of the week as the investigation continues.

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