Who Is Patricia Navarro-Velez? What Happened To Patricia Navarro-Velez?

At the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), a former professor, Anthony Polito, unleashed terror on campus, leaving three faculty members dead and another critically injured. Among the victims was Patricia Navarro-Velez, a 39-year-old assistant professor whose promising career was tragically cut short.

TimeEvent
11:28 a.m.
December 7, 2023
Anthony Polito arrives at the UNLV campus in a 2007 Lexus armed with a Taurus 9 mm handgun.
11:45 a.m.
December 7, 2023
Shots are reported to police, sparking the beginning of the tragic UNLV shooting.
11:55 a.m.
December 7, 2023
Polito exits Beam Hall, where the shooting occurs, and engages in a fatal gunfight with the police.
The shooter is shot multiple times and dies on the scene.
Victims are found on different floors of Beam Hall, with a visiting professor critically injured.
University police quickly respond, saving lives during the active shooter situation.
The campus is placed on lockdown during the unfolding tragedy.
AfternoonAuthorities identify the victims as professors Cha Jan Chang and Patricia Navarro-Velez.
A third victim’s identity is withheld pending notification of relatives.
EveningThe wounded visiting professor’s condition is downgraded to life-threatening.
Police discover Polito’s criminal history and his peculiar actions leading up to the shooting.
A search warrant at Polito’s residence uncovers items indicating financial distress and a troubling list.
President Joe Biden issues a statement expressing condolences and condemning gun violence on campuses.
Following DaysUNLV community mourns, seeking support and grappling with the aftermath.
Investigation continues, focusing on Polito’s motives and the contents of the letters he sent.
Questions arise about the broader issue of gun violence in the United States.
OngoingCampus remains closed, highlighting the lasting impact of the tragic event.

The Incident

On December 7, 2023, the UNLV campus became the scene of a horrifying shooting, as Polito, reportedly grappling with financial struggles, carried out a targeted attack. Armed with a legally purchased .9mm pistol and armed with 11 magazines, he stormed the campus, fatally shooting professors Cha Jan Chang and Patricia Navarro-Velez. A third victim’s identity is yet to be revealed, awaiting notification of the family.

At the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), a former professor, Anthony Polito, unleashed terror on campus, leaving three faculty members dead and another critically injured.
At the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), a former professor, Anthony Polito, unleashed terror on campus, leaving three faculty members dead and another critically injured.
( Image By : cbsnews )

The fourth victim, a 38-year-old visiting professor, is fighting for his life in critical condition. Miraculously, individuals on Polito’s target list, except for one international traveler, escaped becoming victims, according to Clark County Sheriff Kevin McMahill.

The Motive Unveiled

Investigators are exploring Polito’s motive, pointing to his financial struggles and the frustration of being denied multiple job opportunities at various colleges, including UNLV. In a bizarre prelude to the attack, Polito sent 22 letters containing an unknown white powder to universities across the country, emphasizing the depth of his distress.

A Glimpse into Polito’s Past

Polito, a former business professor with a criminal history, resigned from Eastern Carolina University in 2017. His online presence provides little insight into the motive behind the UNLV attack, but his fixation on negative feedback from students raises concerns about his mental state. Students from his past recall his obsessive efforts to identify critics, shedding light on a troubling aspect of his character.

The Aftermath and Investigation

The swift response of university police is credited with saving lives, and Polito’s demise during a gunfight with law enforcement put an end to the immediate threat. However, the aftermath reveals a complex web of Polito’s troubled life. An eviction notice was found taped to his front door, indicating financial distress, and a search of his residence uncovered alarming items, including what appears to be a will and a list of people he sought on the UNLV and Eastern Carolina University campuses.

Victims Identified

The victims, including Patricia Navarro-Velez, were identified by the Clark County Office of the Coroner/Medical Examiner. Navarro-Velez succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds, adding another layer of tragedy to this devastating event. The wounded visiting professor’s condition has been downgraded to life-threatening, emphasizing the severity of the attack.

Community Responses and President Biden’s Statement

The UNLV community is grappling with grief and fear following this senseless act of violence. One student, reflecting on the incident, described the sheer panic and uncertainty that gripped the campus during the shooting. The university remains closed as the community attempts to come to terms with this tragedy.

President Joe Biden expressed his condolences, condemning the incident as the latest example of gun violence on college campuses. The grim reality is underscored by the fact that this marks the 631st mass shooting in the United States this year alone.

FAQs

Q: Who were the victims of the UNLV shooting?

The identified victims are professors Cha Jan Chang, Patricia Navarro-Velez, and a third person pending family notification. A fourth visiting professor is critically injured.

Q: What was Polito’s motive for the attack?

Polito’s motive appears to be rooted in financial struggles and repeated job rejections, leading to a targeted attack on UNLV faculty.

Q: How did the university respond to the shooting?

University police responded swiftly, saving lives, and President Biden has acknowledged the tragedy as the latest incident of gun violence on a college campus.

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