In a tragic event that has rocked the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, two beloved faculty members have been identified as victims of the senseless and cowardly shooting that took place on Wednesday. The loss of Professor Cha Jan Chang, also known as “Jerry,” and assistant professor Patricia Navarro Velez has left the entire UNLV community reeling with grief and seeking justice for the lives lost.
Professor Chang, a long-standing member of the UNLV faculty since 2001, made a lasting impact on the university’s Lee Business School, where he taught management information systems. His impressive credentials and scholarly contributions made him an esteemed figure in the academic world, leaving behind a legacy that will not be forgotten.
Similarly, assistant professor Navarro Velez, with her expertise in accounting information systems and cybersecurity disclosures, had a promising career ahead of her that was tragically cut short. Her dedication to research and teaching had earned her the respect and admiration of her colleagues and students alike.
While the injured fourth victim, a visiting professor, continues to recover from the harrowing ordeal, the UNLV community remains steadfast in supporting all those affected by this heinous act of violence. In the face of such adversity, the university has shown remarkable resilience and unity, embodying the spirit of Rebel Strong as they honor the memory of the cherished faculty members lost.
Moreover, the perpetrator behind this despicable act, Anthony James Polito, has been revealed to have a troubled history and malicious intent. His disturbing actions leading up to the shooting, including sending ominous letters and possessing hazardous substances, paint a chilling portrait of a disturbed individual driven by resentment and malice.
The heroic actions of the university police detectives, who bravely confronted and ultimately neutralized the assailant, deserve the utmost praise and recognition for their selfless courage in protecting the UNLV community from further harm. Their decisive intervention undeniably averted what could have been an even greater tragedy, and their unwavering bravery serves as a testament to the indomitable spirit of those who uphold the safety and well-being of others.
As the UNLV community mourns the loss of these esteemed faculty members and grapples with the aftermath of this incomprehensible tragedy, the unyielding support and solidarity exhibited by its members affirm that they will emerge from this ordeal stronger and more united than ever. This devastating event has left an indelible mark, but it will not extinguish the enduring resilience and strength of the UNLV community as they honor the legacies of those lost and continue their unwavering pursuit of knowledge and progress.