LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Eight students face murder charges in connection with the deadly beating of a student near Rancho High School earlier this month.
Jonathan Lewis, 17, died following the attack, the Clark County coroner’s office confirmed. His cause of death was listed as complications of multiple blunt force injuries. His manner of death was listed as homicide.
All eight are between the ages of 13 and 17. Due to the teenagers’ ages, their names were not immediately released. In Nevada, if a 16-year-old or 17-year-old is charged with murder, the case is automatically moved to the adult system. The process is referred to as certification. Judges can certify children over the age of 14 as adults for any felony offense, including murder, though the process is not automatic.
The attack happened on Wednesday, Nov. 1 in the 1900 block of Searles Avenue near Rancho High School.
During a news conference on Tuesday, LVMPD Lt. Jason Johannson said all the people involved — believed to be 10 — were students of Rancho High School. Johannson described the video as “void of humanity” and said there was no evidence the incident could be considered a hate crime.
As of Tuesday, police had identified eight of the 10, Johannson said. Police and the FBI arrested all eight on Tuesday morning.
Lewis was on the ground and not defending himself when he became unconscious, Johannson said. The fight was over a pair of stolen wireless headphones and possibly a vape pen.
Jonathan Lewis, the younger Lewis’ father, told 8 News Now that his 17-year-old son died on Tuesday, Nov. 7, as a result of the injuries. Lewis, who lives out of state, said he hoped his son’s death would start a conversation on youth violence in the Las Vegas valley.
“We all must be held accountable for our choices,” he said in a statement to 8 News Now following the arrest. “We deserve to be able to live in peace and receive love in our community! This is just the beginning of what justice is for me. Actually recognizing why, at this age, our children chose violence, the root cause, the terror of constant resource conflict and dependence on a broken system and actually building our own self-regulated wealth and health is a huge part of justice for me as a father too!”
Police asked for help identifying two people who had yet to be identified. Photos of the two had not yet been released as of Tuesday afternoon.
Anyone with any information is encouraged to contact the LVMPD Homicide Section by phone at 702-828-3521 or by email at email@example.com. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555 or on their website.
“I’m calling on the youth to use their collective mob voice to demand change, create a deep sense of community, and do something with your power instead of enslaving yourselves to anger, rage, and cowardly violence,” the elder Lewis said.