LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — We are seeing video of the man accused of shooting a Metro Police officer for the first time. While Officer Shay Mikalonis is fighting for his life, Edgar Samaniego appeared in front of a judge this morning.
The I-Team heard prosecutors describe Officer Mikalonis’ injuries. They say Samaniego shot him in the face.
“He is still in grave condition,” revealed Clark County Chief Deputy District Attorney Giancarlo Pesci in court. “We don’t know how it’s going to go. We pray that it’s going to go in the fashion that he will survive, but it’s still unknown as to how that will play out as far as his injuries.”
Twenty-year-old Samaniego faces attempted murder and other charges after police said he shot 29-year-old Mikalonis Monday night at a Black Lives Matter protest on the Strip.
Prosecutors said Samaniego opened fire while Mikalonis was taking a protester into custody by Circus Circus.
“Not only are the officers at risk, but all the other individuals who are out there peacefully protesting,” said Pesci. “They’re at risk, and they’ve been at risk.”
The I-Team sat down with Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson to discuss the case. He pointed to video and witnesses.
“A shot rang out, striking the officer in the face. He immediately fell to the ground, other officers and people went to his aid,” Wolfson explained. “…There is no mistake about it, that he fired this firearm in the direction of the police officer, causing this police officer to be in grave condition.”
Officer Mikalonis is now fighting for his life.
Judge Joe Bonaventure set no bail for Samaniego, calling the charge against him as serious as it can get.
“The allegation that Mr. Samaniego is facing is that he fired a firearm at an officer, a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer, striking the officer on the left side of his face. And I’m reading from the arrest report now, it does indicate that the bullet traveled through his spine and lodged in the right side of his face.”
It turns out, at the time of the shooting, Samaniego was out on bond for a DUI and drug charge from an arrest in April.
“He’s a risk to the community,” stated Bonaventure. “He’s a risk to not follow the court’s orders because he hasn’t in the other case.”
Samaniego’s family was in court. His mother declined to speak with us.
He returns to court Friday for the case involving Officer Mikalonis and will be back in tomorrow on previous drug charges.