Eight teens were arrested and charged with murder after beating a fellow teen to death in an after-school bullying incident.
The victim was 17-year-old Jonathan Lewis Jr, who was white, while the assailants that ganged up and viciously beat the boy were black. None of them have been named due to their ages.
Despite this, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department say there is no evidence the beating constituted a hate crime.
Lewis’ family and early reports say the teen was defending a smaller friend who had been robbed by the group of fifteen teenagers, who then threw the small boy into a trash can.
Lewis confronted the thieves and was attacked in a brutal beatdown that was recorded and posted to social media.
“After holding my son’s hand in the hospital while on life support for 2 days and nights and watching his life leave his body and being shocked by the immensity and horror of my beloved boy just being beaten to death I felt a mission to act that moved me to my core,” his father wrote on a memorial page following his death.
His father also said that “this horrific tragedy is reflective of the divisive, conflict-based, uncaring state that our society and humanity is currently facing with how we interact with our community.”
The eight teens were booked into juvenile hall after being identified in the video. Their ages range from 13 to 17 and they all attended Rancho High School in Clark County.
Two additional unidentified suspects are still being sought according to Undersheriff Andrew Walsh.
He said the police departments was urging prosecutors to charge qualified suspects as adults in the brutal case, saying the beating was “void of humanity.”
Homicide Lt. Jason Johansson urged the public to come forward with additional footage that could help identify other suspects.
“There’s a high likelihood that there’s additional video out there that we don’t have,” he said.