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Eight teens have been arrested in connection with the beating death of 17-year-old Jonathan Lewis near his Las Vegas high school on Nov. 1. Undersheriff Andrew Walsh of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department revealed in a press conference Tuesday that the suspects will be charged with murder.
Walsh further indicated that the investigation into Lewis' slaying is far from over, calling on parents and students who may have seen the video to help identify others in the mob who mercilessly kicked, stomped, and punched Lewis as he tried to get away.
Lt. Jason Johansson of the LVMPD's homicide section indicated that the fatal beating took place in an alley one block east of Rancho High School after classes let out. All involved in the incident were reportedly students from the school.
"As you know, the video that has been shared widely on social media ... is very graphic and in my opinion is very void of humanity," said Johansson. "What you see in the video though is approximately 10 subjects kicking, stomping, and punching our victim Jonathan as he's on the ground, not defending himself, until the point at where he becomes unconscious."
KVVU-TV previously reported that police found a student who was "battered and bleeding from the head."
According to police, the fight was initially over a pair of stolen wireless headphones and possibly also over a stolen vape pen, apparently taken earlier in the week from the victim's friend.
"After school let out, all parties then walked to that back alley where — as you see in the video — our victim removes his clothing, engages in a fight initially with one subject, and the minute the punch is thrown with that person, 10 subjects immediately swarm him," said Johansson.
After the mob overtook Lewis and left him with "non-survivable head trauma," Johansson said a concerned citizen found the victim's crumpled and unresponsive body lying in the alley, began attending to him, then carried him back to the school. He was subsequently taken to University Medical Center, where days later he perished.
Lewis' cause of death was ruled a homicide. Police suggested there is presently no evidence to suggest that it was a hate crime.
The Clark County School District and the high school reportedly helped identify the eight suspects, who were taken into custody by law enforcement officials Tuesday morning. LVMPD also executed nine search warrants at various residences, obtaining clothing allegedly worn by the suspects during the attack.
The suspects range in age from 13 to 17. All were booked into Clark County Juvenile Hall on charges of murder.
"The case will now be turned over to the Clark County District Attorney's Office, who we've been in close coordination with," continued Johansson. "We'll go through the normal steps ... for them to be certified as an adult."
Las Vegas has seen other teens charged as adults in recent weeks for ghastly murders.
Jzamir Keys, 16, and Jesus Ayala, 18, were both charged as adults in connection to the fatal rundown of 64-year-old retired police chief Andreas Probst. Ayala and Keys appear to have filmed parts of their rampage, including when they allegedly drove a white sedan off the road, then targeted Probst, the former police chief of Bell, California, for slaughter, giggling while doing so.
"I want to say just as a parent and as a member of this community, the video that's out there and the videos that we have mentioned throughout this investigation and that you've seen reported in the media, they're extremely disturbing," said Undersheriff Walsh. "And this should be a reminder to all of us to have those difficult conversations with our children and remind them that their actions have consequences, their actions have lasting consequences, their actions have life-altering consequences."
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Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.