Officer Shot During Vegas Protest May Spend Rest of Life on Ventilator: Family
USLorenz Duchamps

The Las Vegas police officer who was shot in the head during a protest on June 1 has a chance of needing the support of a ventilator for the rest of his life, relatives said.

Shay Mikalonis, 29, was shot in the Las Vegas Strip area in the wake of George Floyd’s May 25 police custody death in Minneapolis.

Police were trying to disperse a group of protesters near the Circus Circus casino because of concerns about the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus when a shot rang out and Mikalonis went down on the casino-lined Las Vegas Strip.

Mikalonis’s family said on June 9 they “hope and pray” that in the future he may leave the Las Vegas University Medical Center’s trauma facility and start his rehabilitation, where they can “work on Shay’s quality of life.”

“Shay is on a ventilator and will be for the foreseeable future or perhaps the rest of his life,” his family posted on Twitter, which was retweeted by Captain Carlos Hank with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

“We just want everyone to know that Shay is a fighter, but he has a long hard fight ahead of him! The level of care he has received at UMC is the best and has gotten him this far, an amazing feat from where Shay was a week ago,” the post reads.

Police said Mikalonis was with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for four years. So far, he had successful surgery to repair a shattered jaw, a police union leader told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

His family said Mikalonis is still in a “very critical” condition. But the officer has regained conscience and is “awake and appears to recognize his family.”

Mikalonis’s family also thanked the LVMPD who has been “very supportive” and appreciated the Las Vegas community, who continued to send their love and support for the injured officer.

NTD Photo
Police stand in formation at the entrance to Fremont Street Experience on June 1, 2020, in downtown Las Vegas. (Ronda Churchill/AP Photo)

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said the day after Mikalonis was shot that he is praying for him and “all of the communities across Nevada who are experiencing grief and pain.”

“I am committed to doing all I can. I am praying for the LVMPD officer who was senselessly shot last night—there is no place for this behavior in Nevada,” Sisolak said. “Violence has no place in our communities and we must all work toward peaceful solutions together. As your Governor, I am committed to listening, heeding calls to action, and healing.”

Edgar Samaniego, 20, of Las Vegas was identified by video and investigators tracked him down to a motel across the street from where the shooting occurred. He was taken into custody on suspicion of the shooting and has been charged with attempted murder.

NTD Photo
This booking photo provided by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows Edgar Samaniego, 20, of Las Vegas, following his arrest on June 2, 2020, in the shooting of Las Vegas Police Officer Shay Kellin Mikalonis on the Las Vegas Strip. (Clark County Detention Center/Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department via AP)

It’s not clear if Samaniego was involved in the Floyd protests, which have spread in major cities nationwide after the death of Floyd in police custody. At least 17 people have been killed so far in the protests⁠—the ages of those who died range from 18 to 77.

An attorney who represented Samaniego in a personal injury lawsuit in 2016 declined to comment, saying he was not immediately representing him on the criminal charges.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.