A ninth juvenile suspect has been arrested in the fatal beating of 17-year-old Jonathan Lewis near Rancho High School in Las Vegas. The arrest comes as authorities continue their investigation into the incident, which occurred on November 1, 2022. According to a news release by the police, the latest suspect was booked into the Clark County Juvenile Hall on charges of open murder. The identity of the juvenile has not been disclosed.
In addition to the recent arrest, the police are seeking an additional “person of interest” in the case, described as wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and khaki pants. This follows the earlier arrests of eight teenagers, ranging in age from 13 to 17, who have been charged with murder in Lewis’ death. The brutal attack on Lewis was captured on video, which police described as extremely disturbing.
Investigators noted that most of the teens allegedly involved in the beating are Black, and Lewis was white. However, Lieutenant Jason Johansson clarified that there is no evidence to suggest the incident was a hate crime. “It is a murder, which, in my opinion, is in and of itself a very heinous crime, but I do not have evidence of a hate crime,” Johansson said.
Lewis was found unconscious in a back alley near the school and was declared “medically brain-dead” by November 7. Authorities believe the altercation stemmed from a dispute over a stolen pair of wireless headphones and possibly a vape pen meant for marijuana, which belonged to a friend of Lewis. Reports suggest Lewis intervened to help a smaller child who was being bullied.
The video evidence showed Lewis engaging in the fight, leading to a swift and violent attack by multiple individuals. Lewis was overwhelmed, unable to defend himself, and eventually rendered unconscious.
Following the attack, Lewis was carried back to the high school, where he received CPR before being transported to a hospital. He succumbed to his injuries several days later.
The Clark County School Police District acknowledged the alley as a common location for student fights. On the day of the incident, two campus security officers were on patrol but not near the alley.