Police unknowingly directed UNLV shooter out of building upon arriving, mistook him for bystander: video

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The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has released hours worth of footage showing their response to a deadly shooting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas earlier this month. Two responding officers can be seen unknowingly directing the gunman outside. 

The split-second moment comes as the officers, guns drawn, dart up a flight of stairs amid a frantic search for the suspect and the victims. At a certain point, one of the officers shouts at someone down below on the ground floor to get out while pointing to the exit.

The shooter, later identified as 67-year-old Anthony Polito, appears for only a few moments, wearing a long black trench coat. There’s no indication he’s the shooter. One of his hands was visible at his side, and there was no indication he had a gun. 

Clark County Undersheriff Andrew Walsh told The Associated Press on Thursday that it is apparent the two officers did not know they encountered the gunman inside the building.

“They don’t have a description of the shooter at the time, and they know there are other police resources on the first floor,” he said.

About a minute later, Polito exited the building, pulled his weapon and was killed in a shootout with university police officers, according to authorities. No one outside was harmed.

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Students and staff had been eating lunch and playing games in a large courtyard just outside the business school, when the rampage began. 

Police have not specified a motive for the shooting but said Polito was in financial trouble and had been turned down for a teaching job at UNLV and other Nevada schools. He left a tenured post in 2017 at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, after teaching business there for more than 15 years.

The three professors killed at UNLV were Naoko Takemaru, 69, an author and associate professor of Japanese studies; Cha Jan “Jerry” Chang, 64, an associate professor in the business school’s Management, Entrepreneurship & Technology department; and Patricia Navarro Velez, 39, an accounting professor focusing on research in cybersecurity disclosures and data analytics.

 

The wounded victim, a 38-year-old visiting professor, has not been identified.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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