LAS VEGAS(KLAS) — Las Vegas Metro Police say 29-year-old Officer Shay K. Mikalonis was shot and critically injured while working patrol during a protest over the death of George Floyd Monday night on the Las Vegas Strip. According to witnesses and police, the protest was peaceful for most of the evening, and then around 11:30 p.m. tensions escalated.

Metro says Mikalonis, who has worked with the department for four years, was a part of a group of additional officers who were called to the 2800 block of South Las Vegas Boulevard to assist with a group of rioters who were throwing rocks and bottles at officers.

As officers were taking a person into custody, a gunshot was fired from across the street striking Officer Mikalonis in the head. He was transported to UMC Trauma where he is on life support.

After the shooting, LVMPD Homicide Detectives responded to the scene and located video surveillance of the suspect who was later identified as 20-year-old Edgar Samaniego.

According to Metro Police, surveillance video shows firing a handgun at the officers as he
walked down the street. Detectives tracked Samaniego to a motel located across the street
from the shooting.

SWAT Officers responded and took Samaniego into custody.

“We are also sickened by what we saw that sparked all of this as agency and from the patrol division we respect everyone’s constitutional right to protest; we are here to support you and to keep you safe as long as it’s done lawfully,” said Jim Seebock, LVMPD.

Samaniego was transported to the Clark County Detention Center and booked on one count of Attempt Murder on a Police Officer and two counts of Unlawful Discharging of a Firearm.

The 8 News NOW I-Team reached out to Samaniego’s family, but they were not interested in talking.