LeBron James has spoken out after a mass shooting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas left three dead and one injured on Wednesday (Dec. 6). During an NBA In-Season Tournament press conference, the four-time champion acknowledged those affected by the tragedy.
“My brother from back home texted me and told me to be safe out here. I heard about [the] shooting at UNLV. My condolences to the families that lost loved ones,” he stated in response to a reporter’s inquiry. “Just goes back to what I said before about guns in America. I think it’s such a longer conversation. We’re the only ones who keep dealing with the same story, the same conversation every single time it happens. And it just continues to happen.”
James continued, “The ability to get a gun, the ability to do these things over, and over, and over, and there’s been no change is just literally ridiculous. It makes no sense that we continue to lose innocent lives on campuses, on schools, at shopping markets, and movie theaters and all types of stuff. It’s just ridiculous, and the fact that we haven’t changed anything. It’s actually been a lot easier to be able to own a firearm. It’s stupid.”
Just before noon, authorities responded to calls about a shooter in UNLV’s Frank and Estella Beam Hall and Student Union buildings. As reported by 8 News Now, one of the deceased was the suspected perpetrator, 67-year-old Tony Polito, a former professor who was killed after engaging in a shootout with officers. There was no motive given.
“We watched a lot of fear across the faces of those young men and women at UNLV today,” said Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Kevin McMahill in a news conference following the shooting. “It’s unfortunate that they had to live through that, but I’m proud of the first responders for getting over there.”