Las Vegas police release two photos of teenage thugs wanted in the murder of a student – after the district attorney defended his decision to try the 13-year-old among eight others arrested.
Jonathan Lewis, 17, was attacked by a mob of 10 on November 1 outside Rancho High School in Las Vegas. He died in hospital on November 7, and eight arrests and charges were announced on Tuesday.
The teenagers, aged 13 to 18, have been charged with murder in the fatal beating of schoolmate Lewis, who was remembered as a “gentle young man”.
A deadly brawl broke out over stolen wireless headphones and a possible vape pen.
Now the police are asking for help in identifying two more suspicious people.
Jonathan Lewis, 17, died in hospital days after he was attacked by a group of 10 teenagers
The police are looking for this person in connection with the murder of student Lewis
The police are looking for this person – after eight other people were charged with murder
Lt. Jason Johansson of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said all of the people involved – possibly 10 – were Rancho High School students.
The teen’s cause of death was listed as “complications of multiple blunt force injuries,” and the teen’s death was confirmed as a homicide.
Among the eight teenagers who have already been charged is a 13-year-old who is expected to be tried as an adult, prosecutor Steve Wolfson said.
Wolfson defended his decision: “We’re not talking about a six-year-old. We’re not talking about an eight-year-old. He said the nature of the brutal murder led him to make his final decision.
The district attorney also said there are videos of the beating that are much worse than the already horrific beatings posted on social media.
All eight defendants – including the siblings – appeared electronically in Clark County Family Court on Wednesday.
The four oldest teenagers in the group will automatically face juvenile court, and the younger four will appear in juvenile court in December, which will decide whether they can be tried as adults.
On Wednesday, the uncle of one of the 16-year-olds accused of murder heard the case in court 8 News now reporters: “No one knows who did what. All you see is a bunch of kids in the crowd. You don’t know who is who or what is what.
Another perspective of the person Las Vegas police are trying to find
Jonathan Lewis (pictured) died of his injuries after being attacked by a gang of school bullies in Las Vegas
School district officials have been warning about physical violence for months, and Clark County school police have confiscated 20 guns and 52 knives this year.
John Vellardita, executive director of the Clark County Education Association, warned lawmakers on March 23 that school violence was “out of control.”
Vellardita said: “The culture in these schools has gotten out of control in terms of student behavior and we have seen an escalation of violence.”
Lt Johansson described the viral video of the beating as a “lack of humanity”, while Lewis’ father said he “cannot watch” the clip.
Revealing further details of the attack that shocked the nation, Johansson said that after the beating, which occurred in an alley near the school, Lewis found the citizen unconscious and brought him back to the school.
Lewis was then taken to UMC, where doctors determined he had suffered a non-survivable head injury.
“As soon as a blow is struck, ten people immediately rush at him,” he said, noting that investigators managed to identify ten people, eight of whom were “positively identified” as suspects.
Footage of the fight was uploaded to social media and police tried to identify individuals. So far, eight people have been charged with murder
Lewis Sr. has since set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs of his son’s untimely death and said the proceeds – which exceeded $100,000 – would be split between the family of Jonathan’s mother and father.
The funds are to be used “for treatment,” we read on the GoFundMe website, as well as for establishing a foundation.
According to a fundraiser organized after Lewis’ death, which cites the teenager’s girlfriend, his decision to take action was due to the fact that another student he helped was much smaller and the group had stolen his items.
The site described him as “a kind, loving, gentle young man who has the heart of a champion and the brightest love energy that draws people to him with love.”
Writing before his death, the family said: “He was an aspiring artist, a devoted older brother and a fierce defender of his loved ones!
“We are so grateful for all the love and community support that has poured out for our son, and we hope that the world will focus on all this love and compassion as a beacon of hope for human relationships and realize how much stronger love is and community spirit is better than dark moments of violence.
“Love wins. Our son is a champion of love and family and a resilient spirit of human perseverance and the will to be good, kind and loving!”