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The gunman who killed three faculty members at the University of Nevada Las Vegas on Wednesday had “a list of people he was was seeking,” authorities said Thursday.
Clark County Sheriff Kevin McMahill said none of the three victims were on the list, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
Anthony Polito, 67, died in a gun battle with responding police officers outside Beam Hall, home of the university’s business school. Polito described himself as a “semi-retired professor” on his website and said he had degrees from the University of Georgia, Duke University, and Radford University, as CrimeOnline reported.
The Clark County Coroner’s Office identified two of the victims: Patricia Navarro Velez, 39, who died of multiple gunshot wounds, and Cha Jan Chang, 64, who died of a gunshot wound to the head, the Sun said. The third fatality has not been identified pending notifications to next of kin.
Polito showed up at Beam Hall shortly before noon and opened fire on four faculty members. The fourth, a 38-year-old man who was a visiting professor at UNLV, was at Sunrise Hospital with life-threatening injuries, according to McMahill.
The sheriff said that Polito had sent nearly two dozen letters to university officials across the country — including one that included a white powder. His “hit list” included people at UNLV and Eastern Carolina University, where he last worked, McMahill said.
The letters were apparently sent at the Henderson post office before the shooting. Investigators used the dash camera from Polito’s car to track his movements prior to the shooting, which included a stop at the post office.
McMahill said the first letter that was opened contained the unknown white powder, prompting a call to a hazardous materials team to process the letters.
At Polito’s apartment, the sheriff said, investigators found his last will and testatment, computers, ammunition, and a box for a Taurus 9 mm handgun, the type weapon used in the shooting. McMahill said it was purchased legally last year.
The sheriff also noted that Polito appeared to be struggling financially, and investigators found an eviction notice on his door.
McMahill said Polito had nine fully loaded magazines on him when police killed him.