LAS VEGAS – High school student Jonathan Lewis, Jr., 17, was brutally beaten by a mob of teens Nov. 1. He succumbed to injures and died Nov. 7. On Tuesday, law enforcement authorities in Las Vegas announced that eight juveniles have been arrested and face murder charges. Two more are being sought.
During a news conference Tuesday, Lt. Jason Johannson with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said all eight suspects involved were students of Rancho High School between the ages of 13 and 17. Due to their ages their names were not released, FOX 5 Las Vegas reported.
The National Conservative posted video from the deadly battering. In the video, Lewis was on the ground, not defending himself when he became unconscious, Johannson said, while describing the scene as a “void of humanity.”
There are two different videos of the #hatecrime beating murder of Jonathan Lewis Jr. outside of Rancho High School in Las Vegas.
I have attempted to synchronize them. pic.twitter.com/nmXToe3IzB
— National Conservative (@NatCon2022) November 13, 2023
According to the New York Post, the teen was beaten by a group of bullies for coming to the defense of a “smaller” friend who was thrown into a trash can.
“One of his smaller friends had something stolen by this group of 15, and they threw the small boy in the trash can, and our son confronted them and he was attacked,” according to a GoFundMe page set up by his family, reported Law Officer earlier in the week.
Police said during the press conference the fight was over a pair of stolen wireless headphones and possibly a vape pen, FOX News reported.
The Clark County coroner’s office confirmed that Lewis Jr. died following the attack due to complications of multiple blunt force injuries and his death was categorized as a homicide.
The grieving father, Jonathan Lewis Sr., said his son lived in Las Vegas with his mother, though the teen planned to move to live with him in Austin, Texas, according to 8 News Now.
Lewis Sr. also expressed disappointment in the fight that led to the death of his son, saying that “children don’t even know what they’re doing half the time.”
Jonathan Lewis, Jr. (Family photo via Las Vegas Review-Journal)
After interviewing witnesses and analyzing video tape of the beating, detectives believe 10 suspects are criminally responsible for the teen’s death. They are still trying to find the final two and have sought the public’s help identifying them.
Photos of the two outstanding suspects had not yet been released as of Tuesday afternoon.
Lewis Sr. said he hopes his son’s death can be part of a conversation around youth violence in the city.