Three people were killed in a shooting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) campus on Wednesday, according to police officials, who confirmed that the suspect was also dead.
A fourth victim was critically wounded in the attack, which took place at approximately 11.45am local time, the Las Vegas metro police department said. Students and professors were forced to barricade themselves in classrooms and dormitories across the 332-acre (135-hectare) campus after getting an alert about a shooter.
At approximately 12.30pm local time, the police department said the suspect had “been located and is deceased.”. Police said the shooting started on the fourth floor of the building that houses UNLV’s Lee Business School, and the gunman went to several floors before he was killed in a shootout outside the building.
UNLV Police Chief Adam Garcia said at an evening news conference that two university detectives immediately got into a shootout with the killer.
Officials said there was no ongoing threat and that police had set up a hotline for people affected by the shooting.
“This is not a test,” the university said in one early post on X, formerly known as Twitter, warning of the threats, noting that there were reports of a a shooter near a business school building called Beam Hall. “RUN-HIDE-FIGHT”. The Associated Press reported that a Swat team that appeared to be with the FBI was seen moving on to campus just before 1pm after the police reported that the suspect was dead.
Vincent Perez, a UNLV English professor who was sheltering in place, told MSNBC that he heard a series of repeated shots and what “sounded like a high-powered weapon – just echoing, echoing in a way that … makes you realize this is somebody out to kill people”.
Three students told NBC News they were giving a presentation when they learned of a shooter and had to be evacuated. They said they were in a building with many windows, with one student saying her first thought was “Get down, make sure you’re safe, make sure everyone else is safe.”
After announcing that the suspect had died, the university said police were continuing to evacuate buildings, and that all UNLV and Nevada system of higher education facilities would remain closed for the rest of the day.
The public university, home to more than 30,000 students, is located about a mile and a half from the Las Vegas strip. The campus is not far from the site of the 2017 massacre at an outdoor musical festival which killed 58 people and injured hundreds more – the deadliest mass shooting in recent US history.
Wednesday’s reports came a day after a series of shootings in Austin, Texas, left six people dead and three others injured. A reported former military member was charged in connection.
Earlier this week, the US broke its own record for the most deadly mass shootings in a single year.
A series of murders took the figure to 38 incidences in which four or more people, not including the shooter, were shot and killed. The previous high was 36, set last year.
The Associated Press contributed reporting.