Violent crime has been on the rise in urban areas across the United States, including Las Vegas, Nevada, where a 17-year-old high school student Jonathan Lewis was savagely beaten earlier this month by a mob of attackers and later died from his injuries.
According to police, a total of eight other teens have been arrested on suspicion of murder for their alleged role in the attack. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Undersheriff Andrew Walsh has also called on anyone who saw the graphic video that spread widely on social media and could identify others involved to contact authorities.
Eight suspects ages 13 to 17 have been arrested and charged with murder in the horrific beating of 17 yo Jonathan Lewis in Las Vegas.
— Juanita Broaddrick (@atensnut) November 15, 2023
As Lt. Jason Johansson explained in his statement about the attack, which took place near Rancho High School shortly after students were dismissed on Nov. 1, the footage depicting the assailants’ behavior was “very void of humanity.”
He went on to note that nearly a dozen individuals can be seen “kicking, stomping and punching our victim Jonathan as he’s on the ground, not defending himself, until the point at where he becomes unconscious.”
Police reports indicate the savage beating was the result of a dispute about items allegedly stolen from Lewis’ friend. First responders were called to the scene after a passerby discovered the victim’s body with what officials described as “non-survivable head trauma.”
Lewis was transported to an area hospital and died days later as a result of homicide, according to police.
Johansson noted that his agency would be working in connection with county prosecutors and, although all of the defendants are under the age of 18, he said that authorities will “go through the normal steps … for them to be certified as an adult” when facing murder charges.
“This should be a reminder for all of us to have those difficult conversations with our children and remind them that their actions have consequences,” Walsh added. “Their actions have lasting consequences. Their actions have life-altering consequences.”
The victim’s family has set up an online fundraiser that has already topped $100,000 and is flooded with statements of grief and outrage over the manner of his death.
“We are so grateful for all the love and community support that has poured in for our son and hope that the world will focus on all that love and compassion as a beacon of hope for human relations and place recognition upon how much stronger the love and the spirit of community is than the dark moments of violence,” Lewis’ father wrote.