Eight teens arrested after Las Vegas high school student's beating deathNov 17, 2023
Alright, good afternoon everyone, my name is Andy Walsh, I'm the Deputy Sheriff of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and I want to thank you all for being here today and we'll give you and the community an update on the senseless
beating. uh investigation and now a murder investigation uh where the victim was Jonathan Lewis, 17 years old, and this occurred on November 1, 2023 and I want to take this moment to also recognize the work that has been done by the members of our side section h. done once again to bring closure to a senseless crime that occurred in our community.
I am here today to announce that we have
eightsuspects in custody for the murder of Jonathan Lewis and those
eightsuspects will be charged with the crime of murder in our work. this investigation is far from over and we need all your help as we continue with this investigation and the reason why I say many of you and many people in the community have seen the violent video that is circulating throughout our community through social media . and if you or your child or someone you know has seen that video and recognizes someone who may have participated in this senseless crime, you should contact us and our homicide section, as I said earlier as we move forward in our investigation and On a Personal Note I want to say that as a parent and as a member of this community, the video that is there and the videos that we have mentioned throughout this investigation and that you have seen in the media are extremely disturbing and 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, their actions have lasting consequences, their actions have life-altering consequences, so to give you more details of this investigation and the arrests that were made today is Lieutenant Jason Johansson from our homicide section, thank you Sheriff, good afternoon everyone.
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eight teens arrested after las vegas high school student s beating death...
I'm Jason Johansson, the Homicide Lieutenant for the Las Vegas Metro Police Department. My assistant today is to give you a brief overview of the initial investigation when I responded up to the time of the arrest of the eight subs today during our operation. Let me start with our response. On November 1, 2023, the Clark County School District Police Department responded to a report of an assault as a result of a fight uh initially arose at Rancho High School very quickly uh in the initial preliminary investigation it was determined that the fight The actual incident occurred in the alley at 1308 21st Street which, as you can see on the map to my left, is directly east of Rancho High School in the vicinity and it was learned that this fight occurred right after
schoolended at Rancho High School and it is believed that all members who were involved in this incident, whether as witnesses, suspects and victims, attended At Rancho High School we also learned that how the victim ended up in Rancho was that after the fight occurred he was lying unconscious and unconscious in the back alley and a nearby citizen saw him and began treating him and took him back to Rancho High School which is what prompted the initial phone calls to 911 related to this incident, after medical response he was transported to UMC, where very early in the investigation it was determined that Mr.
Lewis had suffered non-survivable head trauma and our start that when the homicide section responded and we took over this investigation due to the extent of his injuries, as you know, the video that has been shared widely on social media and that I'm not going to show today, but a lot of people. What I have seen is very graphic and in my opinion is very devoid of humanity. What you see on the video is approximately 10 subjects kicking, stomping and punching our victim Jonathan while he is on the ground without defending himself to the point where he is knocked unconscious during our investigation, we quickly learned that the fight was actually over a pair of stolen wireless headphones and possibly a stolen marijuana vaporizer from incidents that occurred earlier in the week and that as a result of those stolen items that were taken from the victim or the victim's friends had agreed to fight with several of the subjects in the back alley where the fight occurred after
All parties exited and then walked toward that back alley where, as seen in the video, our victim takes off his clothes and becomes involved. initially fight with one subject and at the moment the punch is thrown at that person, 10 subjects immediately surround him, throw him to the ground and begin kicking, punching and stomping on him during the course of this investigation and in close coordination with the Clark County School. The school district police department and Rancho High School administrators were able to quickly identify many of the subjects involved in the fight from the video that was taken and shared on social media, as a result, we have identified approximately 10 subjects involved in the fight.
He murdered eight of those individuals that we were able to positively identify on November 7th. Family members informed our team that our victim had suffered. He was currently medically brain dead, at which point they had made the decision to donate his organs and yesterday. the victim was an autopsy performed by the Clark County Corner office on the victim where his cause of
deathwas homicide due to blunt force trauma as I mentioned earlier as a result of our investigation we were able to identify eight of those 10 subjects and based on that investigation, We conducted an arrest operation this morning with the FBI Criminal Apprehension Team and members of our main Violations and Narcotics Bureau.
During that operation we
arrestedthe eight subjects and executed nine search warrants at various residences throughout the Las Vegas Valley. During those search warrants, detectives were able to obtain numerous items of clothing from the residences that the suspects were wearing during the attack on Mr. Lewis. All of the subjects who were
arrestedin this incident are between 13 and 70 years old. 17 All are juveniles and all were raised at the Clark County Juvenile Home on murder charges, the case will now be turned over to Beed to the Clark County District Attorney's Office with whom we have been in close coordination and will continue the normal steps to determine uh for uh following the normal steps. to be certified as adults like the deputy sheriff mentioned in this investigation is far from over.
We have identified eight of the 10 we believe are responsible for the murder, but through our private investigative office we will be releasing additional photographs of two people we have yet to identify who participated in the incident and, uh, with the request for assistance from the community to identify them. I also want to ask secondly to anyone in the community that if you know anyone who witnessed this, watch a video of this from social media please don't think we have it, there is a
highprobability that there are additional videos that we do not have. I encourage anyone with that video to contact the El P homicide section or if you wish to remain anonymous.
That video can be shared throughout Clark County and through Crime Stoppers in Nevada. This information is very necessary in investigations like this and has helped us a lot in closing this investigation. I just want to thank my team for the uh. For all the investigative efforts they put into this case, our homicide section does an incredible job and they can get it done very quickly. Also, in closing, I just want to second the Sheriff's comments if you are a mentor with youth, if you are a parent, you can't, you should assume that your children have seen this video, it has been shared widely on social media, don't hide head in the sand, please talk to your children about this and explain to them that people need to distinguish between right and wrong and that this was, that this act was heinous and, as I mentioned before, I hope the children can learn of us so that we don't have another incident like this, with that.
I will answer any additional questions you may have. I have a question. Can you explain it to our audience? You know this happened on November 1st and it lasted until November 14th for the arrest to stand and some people assume that Happ's arrest happened correctly. away, everything was video call why didn't they just arrest them. Can you explain that to the audience? Yes, and with pleasure, great question. I'm glad you did it, so when we talk about research like this, I mentioned before one of the most important things about us doing the research is that this is a very emotional video for anyone who watches it who has parents. .
It's emotional for everyone involved, but remember we have to arrest someone on the murder charge. We have to be right. We have to do it. I'm sure we have positively identified who those people are. It's one thing for someone to say. I think it's this or that. We have to be able to physically put that person there. If you watch that video, a lot of them have hoods over their faces. Of them have their faces obscured during the attack, our job is to get in there and be able to prove in court, beyond a reasonable doubt, that each of these people are the people depicted in the video, not someone who looks like them .
In reality, they are the ones who are actually the second part of our investigation, not the closing second part of our investigation. On the day search warrants obtained the clothing people were wearing during the attack, we also recovered numerous cell phones. All these articles go. in that investigation and those are all the things that investigators of crimes like this or any crime have to do in order to take a case to court and be proven Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, you said this was a very emotional experience. video, this video is captured for national attention and one of the questions that people nationally have been asking about whether or not this was a hate crime is whether this is the case, if not, what factors lead me to That determination, for me is that you have to follow the evidence and The only thing I will say is that there is no evidence at this time that this is a hate crime and one thing I can assure you is that if it were a hate crime , someone would be arrested on charges related to a hate crime.
At this time I have no evidence that this is a hate crime. It is a murder that in my opinion is a very heinous crime in itself, but I have no evidence of a hate crime. Can you go over again what exactly he carried? This fight was also accompanied by the theft of wireless headphones and a marijuana-baited pen. These items were stolen from ls friend, as his father is telling everyone at this point what we initially said and what we still believe up to this point is that, uh, the initial. The fight was going to be between his friend, which if you watch the video, he wears tan pants, uh, that at some point, Lewis went into the alley with him and then the fight occurred between Lewis and the guys who were believed to have robbed him. the wireless head, but during the course of the investigation we began to learn additional details that there could also be a connection to some theft, such as a marijuana vaporizer or some type of marijuana in a device used to inhale marijuana and then come out of it.
I'm curious to know that neighborhood residents have mentioned that that alley is very prone to
studentfights. Is metro or ccsdpd taking any steps to try to mitigate that area with
students congregating and potentially fighting? I can let the Clark County School District Police Department go over what their The answer is that back alley, what I can tell you is, and speaking with our Air Command Commander downtown, they've had an increased presence there in that alley, but I'm personally not aware of previous police responses to that. alley but Clark County School District py uh if you have one to answer the rest of that hi Mike Blackey chief of the Clark County School District Police Department that area um is yes there have been fights there but there have also been fights around from that school Um, in parks in other neighborhoods, things like that, but that's typical of most of our schools, especially our 30
highschools, where certain students don't choose to fight on campus because of the repercussions, so they will choose take that as your problems. off campus and this is a typical example that that particular area and all areas are patrolled by our patrol force and that high school and all of our 30 high schools have two campus officers that patrol that those schools or their school assigned each day and there were two school police officers on duty that day, where were they when that fight occurred?
They were patrolling the campus why didn't they see that fight where were they patrolling the campus? I mean, how far from campus can they or do they patrol?They patrol where incidents usually take them, so if they have information that there is going to be a fight, they will be there. In this particular incident there was no information that there was going to be an incident that was going to happen in the apartments next to the school. This is Joshua Channel 8. I just have one question. Do any of these minors have a criminal record? I couldn't say that.
No. No. I am not aware of any information regarding the suspects and also last week there was also an incident in Hary M where a body was found. Can you just talk? It provides some kind of peace of mind for parents who have children going. to CCSC on safety um Metro also investigated that incident um so they can talk about that incident but as far as our police force and how um the school district uh provides safety in the schools um we have 194 police officers um thatCoverage is 370 schools every school day and obviously that's not enough, however, 40 40 of them are patrolling every day and that's when school starts.
The incidents that occur during the night we do not have that Force working during the incidents. That's particularly so for an incident as serious as that, what are CCSD police doing differently after the incident at Ranch? Obviously, an incident like this will affect the school community, specifically Rancho, the students, obviously, the staff and the parents, and just not the parents of. Ranch, but parents from all over Clark County I've been getting calls basically saying it could have been their son. What we've done, obviously, we're partnering with our agencies like we always do with Metro, uh, North Las Vegas, which is very close to the border with Rancho um and we're providing additional coverage in Rancho and other locations uh we're also providing additional service uh to that school um and I can't speak to that right now when you say that the additional coverage does that means more than one officer usually incidents at school occur in the mornings at lunch time and after school, so those coverages increase during those hours of the school day and how the ccsdpd is responding to the threats that the Rancho High School teachers administration has been receiving since this video.
It went viral again. I can't speak to that, but additional resources are provided to that site to address those issues that are occurring when the suspects were detained at the high school. I cannot speak to where the detained suspects are. in numerous locations throughout the valley, so I don't have down to the last individual location where they were detained, but I am not aware of any detained on school grounds at this time. No you are not. I don't know, thank you all. The second one, thank you, what are you doing, kids? Uh, I don't want to get into conjecture about what I think is happening with young people.
I don't want to believe this is what everyone is doing. I want to believe this is a small subset of the population thanks
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