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Body-camera footage shows police response to active shooter at UNLV

Three UNLV faculty members were killed and a fourth was injured when a gunman opened fire on campus.
Posted at 11:49 AM, Dec 21, 2023

Body-worn camera footage released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows law enforcement's response to an active shooter on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Three faculty members were killed and a fourth was injured when a gunman opened fire in Frank and Estella Beam Hall on Dec. 6. 

The gunman, since identified as a career educator who'd tried and failed multiple times to obtain employment at the university, was shot by university police officers outside the building.

The body-worn camera videos follow three different officers as they arrive at the campus and help clear school buildings.

Alarms can be heard coming from multiple buildings in the heart of the university's campus as the videos show officers arriving outside Beam Hall.

There appears to be confusion about who was inside the locked rooms of the building. 

Over the radio, one officer says there's a man down in front of Beam Hall. He advises others to watch out for crossfire. A portion of the video is obscured by a black box as an officer walks by what is presumably the gunman on the ground outside the building.

As one officer enters Beam Hall, lines of students run out of lecture halls and classrooms with hands raised and panic-stricken faces. At one point, officers stop to help a wheelchair-assisted student down multiple flights of stairs and out of the building. 

Student searches for woman who pushed her to safety in UNLV shooting
Natalie Matarazzo, student at University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Student searches for woman who pushed her to safety in UNLV shooting

Natalie Matarazzo is a junior at the university who is paralyzed from the waist down due to a car accident in 2020.


Further upstairs, the officers encounter what appears to be the first shooting victim.

The videos also document officers' confusion as they try to understand whether there is a second shooter on the campus. 

“There’s a dead suspect outside. We don’t know if there’s a second, because you guys heard shots the same time as the OIS (officer-involved shooting)," one officer tells another. "So we don’t know if there’s a second shooter or not.”

The videos also document officers' difficulty accessing locked rooms in Beam Hall as they tried to make sure the building was clear. 

More footage shows the scenes unfolding nearby at the student union building, where officers are seen moving through the building with rifles.

At this point, police are clearing rooms and hallways one by one.

Visuals from the scene now start to show caution tape, students and teachers leaving with hands on their heads. 

Back at Beam Hall, police start making grisly discoveries.

One video shows what appears to be some blood on the floor.

"Why are we kicking this door? There is blood everywhere. Can we have breaching tools to the fifth floor?" an officer is heard saying.

In the following hours, officers continued to search the school until campus was cleared late that evening.

On Dec. 8, two days after the shooting, officials with the university identified two campus police officers credited with stopping the gunman.

Las Vegas police then released video that shows the two university police officers, Det. Nathaniel Drum and Ofc. Damian Garcia, confronting the suspect in a gun battle that University Police Chief Adam Garcia said "neutralized the threat."

The three victims who were killed have since been identified as Patricia Navarro, 39; Cha Jan Chang, 64; and Naoko Takemaru, 69 — all faculty members at UNLV.

This story was originally published by Alyssa Roberts and Ramsey Pfeffinger at Scripps News Las Vegas