The police officer who was shot during a protest at Las Vegas Strip is paralyzed from the neck down, on a ventilator and unable to speak, his family has said. Officer Shay Mikalonis, 29, was shot in the head on June 1 at a protest over the killing of George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police officer. Edgar Samaniego, 20, who was caught on a surveillance video shooting Mikalonis, is facing charges of attempted murder.
In a statement released through the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) on Saturday, the officer's family said he "is on a ventilator and will remain so". He is paralyzed from the neck down and unable to speak. They further announced that Mikalonis "has tentatively been accepted to one of the best spine rehabilitation centers in the country".
They thanked well-wishers for the outpouring of support for the IPOF (Injured Police Officers Fund) fundraiser. Thousands participated in the fundraiser, the proceeds of which directly went to the Mikalonis family. They thanked the Las Vegas Golden Knights, of whom Mikalonis is a big fan, for sending him a jersey signed by the team. That jersey will go with him to the rehabilitation center, the statement read. They further thanked the staff at the University Medical Center (UMC), Las Vegas, for caring for him.
Edgar Samaniego shot at the police officers during the protests. Mikalonis was hit when he was attempting to take a protester into custody, 8 NewsNow reported. Although Samaniego initially told police that he was in his hotel room with his girlfriend, he later admitted to shooting the officer. He was caught on the surveillance camera, firing at the officers, and was also identified by a parking lot security guard.
According to his arrest report, he was not a protester and was staying nearby. He later claimed that he fired shots to scare the protesters away.
Multiple charges are leveled against him, which includes attempted murder with the use of a deadly weapon and two counts of discharging a gun in a prohibited area. He is being held against a $1 million bond.