Eight teenagers arrested over beating death of Las Vegas high school student

Police officials said it appears all of those involved in the fatal beating ‘were attendees’ of Rancho High School

<p>Jonathan Lewis, 17, was fatally beaten in November 2023</p>

Eight teenagers were arrested over the death of a 17-year-old, who was brutally beaten near his high school earlier this month.

Since the fatal beating of Jonathan Lewis on 1 November, eight suspects were arrested on murder charges, Las Vegas Police Undersheriff Andrew Walsh said at a Tuesday news conference.

The suspects are all juveniles, ranging in age from 13 to 17 years old, officials said. Although eight have been arrested, authorities said that based on video footage of the incident, it appears 10 subjects were involved. Only eight have been positively identified.

The beating occurred after school in an alleyway just a block away from Rancho High School. Homicide Lt Jason Johansson it appears all of those involved “were attendees” of the high school.

He said the fight was prompted by a pair of stolen wireless headphones and “possibly” over a stolen marijuana vape pen. Those items were either taken from Lewis or his friend, Mr Johansson, added, and they had agreed to fight in the back alley after school.

The video shows approximately 10 subjects “kicking, stomping and punching” while Lewis is lying on the ground “not defending himself,” said the homicide lieutenant.

After the fight occurred, he was lying “unconscious and unresponsive” and a passerby carried him back to the high school, prompting the 911 call, Mr Johansson said. The 17-year-old was transported to a hospital, where officials learned he had sustained “non-survival head trauma,” he added.

On 7 November, Lewis was pronounced medically brain dead. His death was ruled a homicide as a result of blunt force trauma.

The video circulating on social media is “extremely disturbing,” Mr Walsh said, adding that it serves as a reminder to the teenagers that their actions have “life-altering consequences.” Mr Johansson similarly called the footage “void of humanity.”

Officials said they plan on sending out images of the two subjects who have not been identified, hoping that the public might be able to help. This investigation is “far from over,” Lt Johansson said.

Lewis’ family started a GoFundMe page; it has already raised over $100,000.

His family wrote on a memorial website: “Jonathan was a hero who tried to help a smaller child who was being bullied and 15 people attacked him in cowardly violence and our beloved son was beaten to death! Jonathan was an aspiring artist, a kind, loving, caring, and generous young man who had his whole life ahead of him and he will be forever loved and cherished every day every moment!”v

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