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UNLV releases surveillance, body cam video months after 3 professors were shot, killed

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 06: A UNLV sign sits on the UNLV campus on December 06, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to Las Vegas Metro Police, a suspect is dead and multiple victims are reported after a shooting on the campus. (Photo by Mingson Lau/Getty Images

LAS VEGAS — The University of Nevada, Las Vegas released video from a deadly shooting on campus last December.

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UNLV released more than 20 hours of video and audio, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The video and audio included surveillance video from campus, 911 calls and body cam footage from university police.

“These records are a painful reminder of the darkest day in our university’s history. We continue to mourn with the family and friends of our three faculty members whose lives were taken. But I am also heartened by the swift and heroic actions of our UPD officers and all first responders, and by the compassion and kindness shown by our staff, faculty, and students toward one another,” UNLV President Keith E. Whitfield said in a statement obtained by KVVU.

“On difficult days of my own reflection and recovery, I have personally chosen to focus on the actions of bravery, care, and support I have seen and witnessed throughout our healing process. As the Rebel Recovery process continues, we are guided by our values of compassion and inclusivity and driven by the notion that the safety, security, and well-being of the UNLV family – our employees and students – are our priority. We remain UNLV Strong and are grateful for the love and support the community has exhibited,” Whitfield continued.

One of the videos showed a university police officer running toward Beam Hall about 78 seconds after the shooting, The Associated Press reported. Another video showed the injured professor walking out of the building before collapsing.

The suspect, Anthony Polito had tried multiple times to work at UNLV but was unsuccessful so he reportedly walked into Beam Hall on Dec. 6 and began shooting, police said, according to KVVU.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Kevin McMahil said Polito was armed with a Taurus 9mm, the news outlet reported. He purchased it legally in 2022 in Henderson. On the day of the shooting, he had 11 magazines in the Taurus 9mm including nine loaded magazines on him when he was shot and killed by the university’s police.

“I am so incredibly proud of the men and women who selflessly ran toward danger and our dispatchers who performed their duty with unwavering calm and precision,” University police Chief Adam Garcia said in a statement obtained by the Review-Journal. “All tried their very best to save lives and help people.”

The victims who were killed were identified as Patricia Navarro Velez, 39; Cha Jan “Jerry” Chang, 64; and Naoko Takemaru, 69, according to the newspaper.

Beam Hall is closed for the spring semester, according to KLAS. It is expected to open in the fall after the building gets repaired.