A 29-year-old police officer who was shot during George Floyd protests in Las Vegas has been left paralyzed from the neck down.
He is unable to speak and remains on a ventilator for the foreseeable future, his family said.
Las Vegas police officer Shay Mikalonis was shot in the head while attempting to detain protesters.
His family statement released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Department revealed that the 29-year-old is expected to remain on the ventilator and has been accepted at a premier spine rehabilitation center.
Mikalonis’ family thanked the community for their fundraising and support, and nurses, doctors, and staff at University Medical Center for their care.
“Again, our family can never express our gratitude for all the support for Shay,” the family said in a statement. “We are always Las Vegas Strong and so proud of our community.”
20-year-old Edgar Samaniego, the suspected gunman, has been charged with attempted murder and battery.
Police video shows ‘visual evidence of the actual act’ of the Mikalonis being shot in the head, said a prosecutor in the case.
A judge who checked the evidence said the footage shows Samaniego “walking by, taking out a gun and firing… at officers.”
The bullet pierced through the officer’s spine and lodged on the other side of his face.
The suspected gunman is being held in lieu of a $1million bond. But Scott Coffee, an appointed public defender, said that Samaniego will plead not guilty.
Mikalonis underwent surgery to have his shattered jaw repaired but his family said he remains on a ventilator for the foreseeable future.
They also wanted people to know that the four-year veteran was a ‘fighter’ but ‘he has a long hard fight ahead of him.’
“We hope and pray that one day he will leave UMC Trauma and go to a rehabilitation facility [where] they can work on Shay’s quality of life, whatever that may be,” they added.
The president of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, Steve Grammas, also thanked well-wishers. He told Las Vegas Review-Journal: “From the moment Shay got shot, the community has continued to support him and our officers. We are thankful for it.”
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