A lone shooter opened fire on the main campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), on Wednesday, killing three people and wounding a fourth before the suspect was shot dead by police, authorities said at a news briefing.
Here is what to know about the shooting, victims and the suspect.
What happened at the Las Vegas campus of the University of Nevada?
- At about 11:45 am local time (19:45 GMT) on Wednesday a gunman opened fire on the fourth floor of the building that houses UNLV’s Lee Business School, where students were preparing for next week’s final exams.
- The University tweeted at around 11:59 (19:59 GMT) that police were responding to reports of shots fired on campus warning students to “RUN-HIDE-FIGHT”.
- Authorities gave the all clear about 40 minutes after the first report of an active shooter.
UPDSouth – UNLV
UPD Alert – UNLV
University Police responding to confirmed active shooter in BEH. This is not a test. RUN-HIDE-FIGHT. https://t.co/qhKQ6oXNVZ
— UNLV (@unlv) December 6, 2023
How many people were killed in the Las Vegas shooting?
The suspect killed three people and wounded a fourth before he was shot dead by police, authorities said at a news briefing hours afterwards.
The attack was the worst shooting in the city since October 2017, when a gunman killed 60 people and wounded more than 400 after opening fire from the window of a room at Mandalay Bay casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip only a couple miles from the UNLV campus.
What about the other witnesses?
The surviving gunshot victim was listed in stable condition, according to Sheriff Kevin McMahill of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
He said several other people suffered panic attacks during the pandemonium, and a number of officers were treated for minor injuries sustained during a search of the sprawling campus for any additional victims or suspects. None were found.
Who is the shooter and did they catch him?
The gunman was a professor who had unsuccessfully sought a job at the school, a law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press.
He previously worked at East Carolina University in North Carolina, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorised to release the information publicly.
Authorities will not publicly identify that person until relatives have been notified, according to Las Vegas Metro Sheriff Kevin McMahill.
Where did the shooting take place?
McMahill said the shooting began on the fourth floor of Beam Hall, a building that houses the university’s business school, then moved to other floors before finally ending outside where the suspect was “neutralised.”
The university has a student enrollment of some 25,000 undergraduates and 8,000 postgraduates and doctoral candidates.
Is UNLV safe now?
According to the school’s website, there is no longer an active threat on the campus.
However, classes were cancelled through Sunday at the university, UNLV president Keith Whitfield said in a Wednesday post.
“Today is a tragic day for UNLV,” he wrote. “We’re all still in shock as we process the unfathomable event.”
According to a CNN analysis, there have been 80 school shootings in the US this year.
In a press release US President Joe Biden said the US “has experienced more than 600 mass shootings, and approximately 40,000 deaths due to gun violence”.
URGENT: From Sheriff Kevin McMahill: "No more threat to the community. The suspect is deceased. Right now, we know there are 3 victims, but unknown extent of the injuries. That number could change. We will update you when we know more." https://t.co/Y3jT9VcNFz
— LVMPD (@LVMPD) December 6, 2023
What are people saying?
President Joe Biden expressed condolences for the families affected by the Las Vegas shooting and another one in Texas where at least six people were killed on Wednesday.
He also called on Republicans in Congress to work with Democrats to pass a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
“Together, we must do more to prevent more families, and more communities like Austin, San Antonio, and Las Vegas, from being ripped apart by gun violence,” Biden said.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G Goodman said the shooting was “tragic”.
Tragic and heartbreaking news coming out of @unlv. Praying for everyone on campus as law enforcement responds to the situation. 🙏
— Carolyn G. Goodman (@mayoroflasvegas) December 6, 2023
UNLV professor Kevaney Martin said it was terrifying.
“I can’t even begin to explain,” Martin said. “I was trying to hold it together for my students, and trying not to cry, but the emotions are something I never want to experience again.”
Selena Guevara said she got a phone call from her daughter, Markie Montoya, who was in class in the building and heard “gunshots, screaming and yelling” but wasn’t hurt.
“She’s hysterical, telling me ‘I love you’ and so scared,’” Guevara said.
Another student, Jordan Eckermann, 25, said he was in his business law class in a second-floor classroom when he heard a loud bang and a piercing alarm went off, sending students to their feet. Some ran from the room in panic while others heeded their professor’s instructions to stay calm, said Eckermann.
He walked out and locked eyes with a law enforcement officer in a bulletproof vest holding a long gun. Clothing, backpacks and water bottles lay scattered on the floor.
Eckerman said he mouthed to the officer, “Where do I go?” the officer pointed to an exit.
Minutes later, when he was outside, Eckermann said he heard bursts of gunshots, totaling at least 20 rounds. The air smelled of gunpowder. He said he kept walking away from campus, even though he didn’t know where to go.