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'It's going to be traumatizing': Experts share insights into aftermath of UNLV shooting

Julie Wootton-Greener, Las Vegas Review-Journal on

Published in News & Features

LAS VEGAS — Lori Haas knows firsthand what it’s like to be the family member of someone injured in a shooting on a college campus.

Her daughter Emily — then a 19-year-old sophomore — sustained two graze wounds to the back of her head during the 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech that killed 32 people.

“I used to say that she was one of the lucky ones until a good friend said to me, ‘I don’t think that getting shot is very lucky,’” said Haas, who’s now the advocacy manager for the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions in Baltimore, Maryland.

The trauma of being in a classroom as many of her classmates were killed or injured is a lot to deal with for a young adult, she said.

“It would be a lot to deal with for anyone,” Haas said. “We’re not prepared for that kind of trauma.”

A gunman killed three people and seriously injured a fourth in a shooting on Wednesday at UNLV’s campus.

 

The three killed have been identified as Cha Jan “Jerry” Chang, a professor of management information systems; Patricia Navarro Velez, an assistant professor in the accounting department; and Naoko Takemaru, an assistant professor in the Japanese studies program.

The shooting began inside Beam Hall, which houses the Lee Business School. Once outside, the suspect died in a shootout with law enforcement.

ABC News reported late Wednesday — citing law enforcement sources — that Anthony Polito, 67, is the suspect.

The Associated Press reported that Polito was a professor who had unsuccessfully tried to get a job at UNLV.

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