A shooting on the main campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, on Wednesday left at least three people dead before the bloodshed ended with the suspect's own death, authorities said. The Las Vegas Police Department said in written statement on social media that three people, aside from the shooter, were killed. Another person who was shot is in critical condition.
Authorities have not identified the victims. It also remained unclear whether the suspect was shot dead by police or committed suicide. Vincent Perez, a professor at the school, known by its initials UNLV, told MSNBC by phone that he had heard a lot of gunfire before taking cover on campus.
"I would say just seven, eight shots, one after another, loud and very loud," he said. "As soon as we heard that, we ran back inside and we realized this is a real shooting, and there's an active shooter on campus." Official details of the incident remained sketchy.
After receiving a call reporting an active shooter on campus, law enforcement officers "immediately responded and engaged the suspect," university police spokesperson Adam Garcia said at the briefing. "The suspect is deceased," he added
Sheriff Kevin McMahill of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said there was no longer any threat to the community, but the main UNLV campus and other branches of the university were being closed for the day "out of an abundance of caution."
Officers were still searching through each building on the sprawling grounds to ensure "we don't have additional victims or subjects," the sheriff said.
Police said earlier on X that shots had been reported around Beam Hall, a campus building that houses the business school and other facilities. In a separate post, campus police said there was an additional report of shots fired in the Student Union.
The first reports of the incident surfaced around noon, and within about a half hour Las Vegas police reported: "The suspect has been located and is deceased."
The UNLV campus, located less than two miles east of the Las Vegas Strip, has a student enrollment of some 25,000 undergraduates and 8,000 post-graduates and doctoral candidates.
The sheriff said students on the campus appeared to have been badly shaken, as were people in the aftermath of a mass shooting in 2017, when a gunman opened fire from a high-rise hotel window onto a music festival below along the Las Vegas Strip. Sixty people were killed and hundreds more were wounded in what still ranks as the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman in US history.
In Washington, the White House said it was monitoring the situation in Las Vegas on Wednesday.