LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – A group of teenagers in Las Vegas are facing murder charges in the deadly beating of a high school student, according to authorities.
The victim, identified as 17-year-old Jonathan Lewis Jr., died on Nov. 7, six days after the attack near Rancho High School, the teen’s father told Nexstar’s KLAS. The Clark County Coroner’s Office listed his cause of death as complications of multiple blunt force injuries.
During a press conference on Tuesday, police said the fight erupted over a pair of stolen wireless headphones and possibly a vape pen. Lewis was on the ground, not defending himself, when he eventually became unconscious, Las Vegas Police Lt. Jason Johannson said.
Though Lewis’ father previously said that 15 people attacked the teen, police later said they believe 10 students were involved — and eight of them were arrested Tuesday morning.
The eight suspects facing charges are between the ages of 13 and 17. Due to their ages, police did not immediately release their names.
In Nevada, if a 16-year-old or 17-year-old is charged with murder, the case is automatically moved to the adult system. The process is referred to as certification.
Judges can certify children over the age of 14 as adults for any felony offense, including murder, though the process is not automatic.
Johannson said all the people involved were students of Rancho High School. The police lieutenant described video of the attack as “void of humanity” and said there was no evidence the incident could be considered a hate crime.
The boy’s father, Jonathan Lewis Sr., spoke to Nexstar’s KLAS on Thursday and described the incident as a savage crime.
Lewis added that his son kept to himself and had plans to move to Austin, Texas, with him. He also expressed disgust and disappointment at the fight that killed his 17-year-old child.
“Violence just begets more violence, and these children don’t even know what they’re doing half the time,” he said.
Lewis currently lives in Texas, and his son was living with his mother.
“I just love my children with all my heart, and it’s just unimaginable that we could ever come to this point,” Lewis said.
He said that his son was on life support for several days, but his injuries were too severe.
“I think there’s just a failure of all of humanity to recognize that we need to be teaching our youth how to coexist,” he said.
The Las Vegas Metro Police Department’s homicide unit is investigating the incident but have not identified the suspects nor their relationship to the victim.