By | Rachel Brooks
Staff | Telegraph Local
Above, a night photo of the Las Vegas Strip created in 2012. The Strip is where the shooting of the Las Vegas police officer occurred. Dietmar Rabich / Wikimedia Commons / “Las Vegas (Nevada, USA), The Strip — 2012 — 6232” / CC BY-SA 4.0
The 29-year-old Las Vegas police officer who was shot in the head during recent George Floyd inspired protests is likely paralyzed from his neck down. This was reported by CBS News at 6:30am on June 15. The officer has since been identified as Shay Kellin Mikalonis. A 20-year-old man has been charged in the deliberate shooting of Officer Mikalonis.. Officer Mikalonis was shot during a Stop Police Brutality rally in the Las Vegas Strip as was reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, updated June 13.
Officer Mikalonis’ family has expressed deep gratitude to University Medical Center in Las Vegas for their care of Mikalonis. They have also publicly thanked the community for support and fundraising during this difficult time.
The family’s official Twitter statement was shared via LVMPD Dispatch on June 13.
“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,” said LVMPD in a tweet that was posted at 1:37pm on June 13.
Officer Mikalonis’ condition has been described by his family in further posts that were photocopied and shared along with the above tweet by LVMPD. The family states that Officer Mikalonis has been placed on a ventilator and remained there as of the Twitter post on June 13. He was paralyzed from the neck down at the time of that posting and he was unable to speak. He was, however, awake and appeared to recognize his family. Officer Mikalonis has been tentatively accepted into “one of the best” spine rehabilitation centers in the United States. The family chose not to disclose the name of this rehabilitation center in their statement.
CBS News stated that video surveillance shows 20-year-old Edgar Samaniego walking by, producing a gun, and firing on the officer during the protest events of June 1, citing CBS. The video footage was reviewed by a judge on June 5, citing Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The Las Vegas Strip protests were initially organized by Organize the State Out Coalition Las Vegas, citing Las Vegas Review-Journal. The organization was a community effort to defund the police.
Fox News reported that Officer Mikalonis was a four-year veteran of the LVMPD prior to this shooting incident. Fox reports that Samaniego will be represented by public defender Scott Coffee. Samaniego will plead “not guilty” to the charges of deliberately shooting Officer Mikalonis.
A ring of prayers and thoughts has appeared on social media in support of Officer Mikalonis’ recovery.In addition to the family and private Twitter users, organizations such as Back the Blue and Code of Vets had circulated support for the wounded officer.
Likewise, the Representative for Nevada’s Fourth Congressional District Rep. Steven Horsford made comments regarding the officer’s tragic plight.
Human remains found in search for two missing Idaho kids; stepfather Chad Daybell taken into custody
“My prayers are with Officer Shay K. Mikalonis, his family, and his colleagues.
No one should be in fear of their life, whether expressing their constitutional rights to free speech or working to protect and serve our community. #PrayForShay,” said Rep. Horsford, in a tweet that was posted at 11:20 am on June 3.