A tragic incident unfolded at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) on Wednesday when a suspected shooter opened fire, resulting in the death of three individuals and injuring another. The incident occurred around 11:45 a.m. local time on the fourth floor of Beam Hall, near the student union building. The university promptly issued an emergency alert to students, advising them to “RUN-HIDE-FIGHT.”
The UNLV police, along with officers from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD), were quick to respond to the scene. According to UNLV Police Chief Adam Garcia, two campus detectives engaged the suspect in a shootout outside the building. The suspect was fatally wounded during the exchange.
LVMPD Sheriff Kevin McMahill confirmed the identity of the suspect but refrained from releasing any details, including any potential affiliation with the university. In addition to the three fatalities, a fourth victim was transported to a local hospital with gunshot wounds and is currently in stable condition. Four other individuals were hospitalized due to panic attacks, and two officers sustained minor injuries during the building clearance process.
The motive behind the shooting is still under investigation. The UNLV campus, located approximately two miles from the Las Vegas Strip and across from Harry Reid International Airport, is home to roughly 30,000 students. The campus was swiftly placed on lockdown following the shooting, with police evacuating students and staff systematically.
One student, identified as Jessica, recounted her experience to local outlet KVUU. She and about 200 other students sheltered in the student union building until they were evacuated, a process that took about 30 minutes. Another student described the panic that ensued as they heard gunshots and were escorted out of the building by armed officers.
In the aftermath of the incident, a reunification center was established at the Las Vegas Convention Center for those with family members on campus. All other Nevada System of Higher Education institutions in the southern part of the state were closed for the day. UNLV’s campus will remain closed through Friday, and possibly into next week, which is when final exams are scheduled.
The incident has prompted reactions from local and national leaders. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman expressed her condolences and called for positivity in the face of tragedy. Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo commended law enforcement for their swift response. The incident, along with two other deadly shootings in Texas, led President Biden to urge congressional Republicans to ban assault weapons.