Police report that a shooting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) campus has resulted in three deaths.
The suspect, described as a white former college professor in his sixties, was shot and killed by officers after a confrontation. One additional victim is in critical condition at a local hospital.
The university and other institutions within the southern Nevada System of Higher Education were closed for the remainder of the day.
The incident prompted a police response following reports of shots fired on campus, and campus police later investigated additional reports near the Student Union building.
It warned students at Beam Hall to “evacuate to a safe area” and to “RUN-HIDE-FIGHT”, which is a common active shooter protocol in the US.
Adam Garcia, the university police chief, reported that two campus officers engaged the suspect in a shootout before the suspect was struck and killed.
At an earlier press conference, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department sheriff Kevin McMahill stated that they currently have “no idea on the motive.”
According to the sheriff at a Wednesday evening press conference, one additional victim is in stable condition at a local hospital. Additionally, four other people were taken to the hospital for panic attacks, and two police officers were treated for minor injuries.
A student present on campus noted to a local ABC station that it appeared as though police were on the scene promptly.
Describing the scene to the reporter he said: “You don’t know what to do. You’re calling your family, texting your friends like ‘I love you guys’ because he [the shooter] could burst through the door at any minute.”
A ground stop was issued earlier at Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport – which is near the school – with authorities citing security reasons.
The airport is urging travellers to check their flight status and notes roadways around the airport are closed due to police activity.
President Joe Biden said in a statement that UNLV is the “latest college campus to be terrorized by a horrific act of gun violence” and that he and First Lady Jill Biden are “praying for the families of our fallen”.
Carolyn Goodman, mayor of Las Vegas, called it “tragic and heart-breaking news” and said she was “praying for everyone on campus”.
Shortly before 13:00 local time, the university said police were “evacuating buildings one at a time”.
Nevada’s Governor Joe Lombardo said his office was in “constant communication” with Las Vegas police, the university and emergency responders.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) are collaborating with local police on the investigation. The Clark County Fire Department has set up a family reunification center at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Additionally, the UNLV campus will remain closed on Thursday and Friday.