Social Navigation

8 teens arrested in fatal beating of Las Vegas high school student


Eight teenagers were arrested Tuesday and booked on suspicion of murder in connection with the death of a 17-year-old who was fatally beaten near a Las Vegas high school this month, police said.

The eight, who were not publicly identified because they are minors, were part of a group of at least 10 people who punched, kicked and stomped Jonathan Lewis after school on the afternoon of Nov. 1, Las Vegas police officials said.

The suspects, who are ages 13 to 17, were booked on suspicion of murder, Undersheriff Andrew Walsh said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

He said the police department was urging that qualified suspects be charged as adults.

The beating took place near Rancho High School. Family members told police that Lewis was brain-dead Nov. 7 at a hospital and that they made plans that day to donate his organs, homicide Lt. Jason Johansson said.

The Clark County medical examiner’s office concluded the cause of death was blunt force trauma, with the manner of death being homicide, he said.

Walsh said the eight were arrested Tuesday morning with the help of FBI agents.

At least two other people believed to have been involved in the attack have not been identified, and the police department Tuesday night planned to circulate video of the pair with the hope someone would recognize them and come forward, Johansson said.

Johansson said the fight was over stolen headphones and possibly a stolen marijuana vape pen that belonged to either Lewis or his friend. The friend had agreed to a fight in the alley after school, he said, but as the parties squared off, Lewis apparently stepped in to defend his friend and was attacked.

Walsh, the undersheriff, said of the suspects, “Their actions have life-altering consequences.”

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.