Officer Shot During Vegas Protest Is Paralyzed From His Neck Down and Unable to Speak: Family

June 14, 2020 Updated: June 15, 2020

The Las Vegas police officer who was shot in the head during a protest on June 1 is paralyzed from his neck down, his family confirmed Saturday.

The family of Shay Mikalonis, 29, shared his condition in a tweet, which was later retweeted by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dispatch with the family’s permission.

The post reads that Mikalonis will be transferred to a renowned spine rehabilitation center. He currently remains at the Las Vegas University Medical Center’s trauma.

Mikalonis is paralyzed, on a ventilator and unable to communicate with his loved ones, his family said. Though, it appears as the officer can recognize them. “We can’t thank the staff of caring professionals at UMC enough,” the note reads. “Truly a miracle!”

“Because of the life-saving work and care he received, Shay has tentatively been accepted to one of the best spine rehabilitation centers in the country,” the note continues.

Mikalonis was shot in the Las Vegas Strip area in the wake of George Floyd’s May 25 police custody death in Minneapolis. The bullet, which has since been removed, traveled through his spine before being lodged on the other side of his face, police said.

Las Vegas officer Shay Mikalonis
Las Vegas officer Shay Mikalonis, 29 in a file photo. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)

Earlier this week, many people attended “Shay Day,” a fundraiser set up in the support of the officer and his family. The day-long fundraiser was organized by the Injured Police Officers Fund.

“Words can not begin to express how grateful we feel,” the family said after the event. “We as a family want to say thank you Las Vegas for your continuing support of Shay.”

Captain Carlos Hank, Bureau Commander with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, wrote on Twitter, “Bolden is proud to have been able to participate,” adding pictures of the event.

‘Just Doing His Job’

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

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

Mikalonis is still in a “very critical” condition. Earlier this week his family said, “Shay is on a ventilator and will be for the foreseeable future or perhaps the rest of his life.”

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.

Epoch Times 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.

From NTD News