LAS VEGAS - A Navy SEAL will be tried for randomly hitting people with a pipe on the Las Vegas Strip. For the first time, surveillance video of the brutal attack has been released. His attorney, meanwhile, argues the case should be dismissed.
Luke Shawley first came to Las Vegas as a proud Navy SEAL in town to train at Nellis Air Force Base.
In March 2010, he became a manic person who went on a violent, bloody rampage on the Las Vegas Strip, assaulting random people with a metal pipe. His chilling crime was caught on camera.
"The video captures Luke attacking these people, and it also shows him at the bar over a five-hour period of time before these attacks, drinking and socializing with everybody," Shawley's attorney Ross Goodman said.
Goodman says his client began the night with dinner at the Venetian with friends. Shawley later went to Tao nightclub.
Shawley admits to drinking eight or nine Jack and Cokes that night. At around 3:30 in the morning – with his friends already gone - he suddenly went berserk.
Metal pipe in hand, Shawley hit anyone in his path, including a 67-year-old woman. Tourists watched in horror as he targeted his next victim, bashing and beating him senseless. Blood flowed from the man's mouth and face.
"He has no interaction with these victims. They are unprovoked attacks. They're random people, and it's an emotionless interaction," Goodman said.
Shawley returned to Tao and targeted a nightclub worker in the liquor room. Within seconds, the fight escalated. Metro Police says Shawley threw people off of him and charged at an officer, punching him in the back of the head.
Shawley was tackled and rushed to University Medical Center, where tests showed he was drunk. His blood-alcohol level was nearly double the legal driving limit.
Before it was over, eight people were hurt.
Goodman says he knows why Shawley was so dangerous and destructive. "Something happened where he unknowingly ingested drugs that were put in his drink," Goodman said.
Goodman alleges Shawley's drink was spiked at Tao, even though lab results from UMC did not detect drugs in his system.
"He was given a urine test, which tested for a limited amount of drugs, none of which are drugs that are commonly associated with clubs," Goodman said. "We later learned that hair testing confirmed the presence of GHB and Hydrocodone."
Despite damning evidence like the surveillance footage, Goodman hopes to persuade a jury that Shawley should keep serving his country as a Navy SEAL and not serve time behind bars.
"He loves this country. He loves being a SEAL more than anything else," Goodman said.
The Clark County District Attorney's Office declined to comment on camera, because this is an ongoing case.
A trial date is scheduled August 1. Shawley has been charged with 15 felonies and a gross misdemeanor. He is still an active duty Navy SEAL stationed in Coronado, California.