WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – “I’m doubting my own brain right now because this cannot be real.”
Kristin Marshburn, now 28, recalled the moment she heard her former professor at East Carolina University, Anthony Polito, shot and killed three people at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He was then shot and killed by police.
Marshburn, originally from Burgaw, transferred into ECU’s College of Business, where Polito was her professor.
The motive of his attack is still unknown. However, Marshburn recalls Polito’s odd behavior in class back in 2016.
“The professor wanted us to review hotels and look up restaurants and his itinerary for his next vacation,” Marshburn said.
While Marshburn was sitting in the front row of her business lecture, one day, everything changed.
“He said ‘Miss Marshburn if you wear a shirt like that for the rest of the semester you’re sure to get an A.’ I remembered I just looked next to me and the faces of my classmates were almost embarrassed for me,” she explained. “It was the faces beside me that made me realize that wasn’t okay to say.”
She reported the incident to the dean of ECU’s College of Business after class.
“It was kind of a ‘This guy’s behavior is not okay and somebody needs to come sit in his class’ and they did much more than that,” Marshburn said, praising ECU for the way they handled the situation.
The university removed Polito from campus and he never returned to teach at ECU again. Marshburn said she is even more grateful now for Polito’s termination after she heard the news of him killing three faculty members in Las Vegas.
“Why was I not targeted but they were is definitely guilt. I guess survivor’s guilt is a good way to describe that,” she explained.
Despite the horrors that unfolded on Dec. 6, Marshburn feels a bond between both ECU and UNLV.
“I know just how this sits with me, this sits with every student that’s ever had him. Every professor, every future student at ECU that hears of this so I just want that community to know that this community will always be thinking and praying for them,” she concluded.