Shay Mikalonis, a Las Vegas police officer who was shot in the head during an anti-racism protest that turned violent is paralyzed from the neck down, according to his family and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
Mikalonis, who is only 29, was shot during an altercation that broke out following what had been a mostly peaceful protest down the Las Vegas Strip on June 1st, according to CBS News. Las Vegas police, who have a suspect in custody related to the shooting, appear to believe that Mikalonis was targeted because he was an in-uniform officer.
“Prosecutors have charged a 20-year-old man with deliberately shooting Mikalonis during the protest, one of the hundreds being held across the nation. A judge who reviewed evidence at June 5 court hearing said that police video shows Edgar Samaniego ‘walking by, taking out a gun and firing … at officers,’” CBS reported. “He is charged with attempted murder, battery and firearms charges and is being held in lieu of $1 million.”
Mikalonis’ family released a statement Sunday evening updating the public on Shay’s condition.
“Shay is on a ventilator and will remain so. He is also paralyzed from the neck down and unable to speak. Shay is awake and seems to recognize his family members,” the family noted.
Sharing with permission from Officer Mikalonis’s family. Since so many of our community is supporting Shay we wanted to provide an update as of June 12th, after the fundraiser held for him. He feels your prayers and positive thoughts. #PrayforShay pic.twitter.com/rpwaxMTCui
— LVMPD Dispatch (@lvmpd_dispatch) June 13, 2020
“Again, our family can never express our gratitude for all the support for Shay,” the statement continued. “We are always Las Vegas Strong and so proud of our community.”
As with many of the anti-racism protests that took place last week, the demonstration in Las Vegas quickly turned from peaceful to violent after officers gave the order for protesters to disperse. In many major cities, interlopers, determined to cause unrest, moved in as protesters moved out, leading to days of violence in places like Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Chicago, Illinois.
Across the country, “approximately 700 federal, state and local law enforcement officers have sustained injuries in clashes with demonstrators, according to Justice Department data,” per the New York Post.
Most of the casualties occurred in major cities. Around 60 Secret Service agents and 40 members of Washington, D.C.’s Park Police force were injured in a protest that turned violent in the nation’s capital, and 22 of those officers had to be hospitalized.
Fox News reported, over the weekend, that 292 members of the New York City Police Department were injured amid the ongoing protests, though the extent of their injuries is “unclear.” WTTW Chicago says that “130 police officers were injured between 5 p.m. May 29 and midnight May 31,” in that city. Police arrested more than 1,000 people in both cities.
Protests have spread from the United States across the globe, leading to confrontations between demonstrators and law enforcement officials in places like the United Kingdom, where 27 police officers were hurt, per the BBC.
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