3 killed, suspect dead after shooting at Las Vegas university: police

Click to play video: 'Las Vegas university shooting: 3 dead, 1 in stable condition after gunman opens fire'
Las Vegas university shooting: 3 dead, 1 in stable condition after gunman opens fire
WATCH ABOVE: The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said three victims are dead and one is in critical condition at a local hospital following a shooting on UNLV’s campus Wednesday. Las Vegas police reported the suspect is dead. Sheriff Kevin McMahill said there is no further threat to campus – Dec 6, 2023

Three people were killed and a fourth was wounded after a shooting on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, on Wednesday, police said. The suspect was later found deceased.

Officials said there was no wider threat to the public after the shooter died, but the campus and all other universities and colleges in southern Nevada were closed for the rest of the day as a precaution. Students at UNLV were evacuated as police combed the campus for evidence.

“No student should have to fear pursuing their dreams on a college campus,” Sheriff Kevin McMahill of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department told a briefing Wednesday evening where he confirmed the fatalities.

“What happened today was a heinous, unforgivable crime.”

McMahill said the injured victim was in hospital and their condition had been updated to stable. Two police officers suffered minor injuries while searching the campus for victims, he added, and four other people were taken to hospital suffering from panic attacks.

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He said police knew the identity of the shooter, but would not be releasing it Wednesday.

Reports of a shooting were first broadcast by the university just before noon local time.

The university said on X the shooter was at the Beam Hall, Frank and Estella Building, home of UNLV’s Lee Business School, and that police were responding to an additional report of shots fired at the nearby student union.

“RUN-HIDE-FIGHT,” the alerts advised, using the FBI’s official guidance for people who find themselves in a mass shooting situation.

The school was still advising people to shelter in place after police confirmed the suspect was found deceased just after 12:30 p.m. Pacific. School buildings were evacuated as police scoured the campus for evidence.

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Matthew Felsenfeld, a 21-year-old journalism student, told the Associated Press said he and about 12 classmates barricaded their door in a building near the student union.

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“It’s the moment you call your parents and tell them you love them,” said Felsenfeld.

He said he didn’t hear gunfire or see anyone injured but that he saw police staged to enter the neighbouring building. A short while later, police came and ushered them out.

“The situation is super sad,” Felsenfeld said. “Every single year we’re seeing more and more shootings. What are we going to do about them? There’s legislation, but is it going to pass? You just never know.”

University of Nevada, Las Vegas, students observe police activity after a shooting reported on campus, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Lucas Peltier). LP

There have been 39 fatal mass shootings to date this year, according to the Mass Killing Database maintained by the Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University, the highest number since the database began collecting data in 2006. The database uses the FBI’s definition of a mass shooting as an event in which at least four people are killed, not counting the shooter.

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UNLV has more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at its 332-acre campus, which sits less than three kilometres east of the Las Vegas Strip.

In response to the campus shootings, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a ground stop of all flights coming into Harry Reid International Airport. The university is roughly three kilometers north of the airport.

Classes were canceled at the university, and UNLV’s basketball game at the University of Dayton, Ohio, was also canceled Wednesday night.

The shooting occurred in a city still scarred by one of the worst mass killings in U.S. history, the Oct. 1, 2017, mass shooting at the Mandalay Bay casino in Las Vegas, in which 60 were killed and hundreds more wounded. The UNLV campus is just over five kilometres from that location.

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Maine shootings: White House calls on House Speaker to pass gun measures

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a briefing the Biden administration was aware of the reports that were unfolding in real time and was monitoring the latest developments.

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U.S. President Joe Biden said in a statement he had directed federal law enforcement agencies to provide “all necessary support” to the investigation.

The statement also noted the fatal shootings in Austin and San Antonio, Texas, the day before that killed six people and injured three others, including two police officers.

“For all the action we have taken since I’ve been President, the epidemic of gun violence we face demands that we do even more,” he said, calling on Congress to pass tougher gun control measures like an assault weapons ban.

“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,” he added.

—With files from the Associated Press

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