Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer Shay Kellin Mikalonis, while on duty, was wounded during a protest in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States on June 1, 2020. It was one of the Black Lives Matter protests across the country following the death of George Floyd.
Taking place outside the Circus Circus Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, the protest lasted for about 5 hours. Mikalonis was shot in the back of his head while his fellow LVMPD officers were trying to disperse the protesters.
Mikalonis collapsed as the bullet pierced his spine and lodged into the right side of his face. He was rushed to the intensive care unit of the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas where he was placed on life support.
Through aerial footage and witness statements, Edgar Samaniego, born in 2000, was identified as the gunman and was held in the Clark County Detention Center facing several felony charges including attempted murder. Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Melanie Tobiasson sided with prosecutors who asked her to set his bail at $1 million over the defense attorneys who asked for a $100,000 bail.
Mikalonis was handcuffing a protester when he was shot in the left cheek by Samaniego, who was 50 feet away, using a Glock 19 handgun. During a hearing for the gunman on unrelated DUI and drug charges, he told the authorities that he was unaware police were there and he fired a shot to scare the protesters into leaving, Las Vegas Review-Journal quoted Chief Deputy District Attorney Thomas Moskal as saying.
The family of Mikalonis is overwhelmed by the community support they are receiving. Here are 13 facts about the Las Vegas cop:
- He was born on September 20, 1990 to Guy Alan Mikalonis and Sharon Ann Myers Neville.
- He stands 5’9″.
- He is a member of the Saint John’s Greek Orthodox church in Las Vegas.
- He is of Greek descent.
- Hailing from Dearborn, Michigan, USA, his father was an ironworker who helped helped a lot of the buildings on the Las Vegas Strip.
- His uncle Frank R Mikalonis lives in Washington, D.C., USA.
- He is the stepson of Patrick Desmond Neville.
- His stepfather’s friend Michael Hawk is a retired LVMPD officer.
- In 2008, he graduated from Arbor View High School in Las Vegas, where he was a varsity football player.
- Raised in a law enforcement family, he joined the LVMPD in 2016.
- He was one of the first LVMPD officers on the scene during the mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip on October 1, 2017.
- At the time of his shooting, he was assigned to the LVMPD’s Convention Center area command.
- After being shot by Samaniego, he underwent two surgeries, one to remove a bullet from his neck and another to repair a shattered jaw.