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Vegas police officer shot in head may need ventilator for rest of his life, family says

The Las Vegas police officer shot in the head while attempting to disperse a group of protesters on the Strip last week will likely remain on a ventilator for the rest of his life, his family said Tuesday.

The family of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officer Shay Mikalonis, 29, gave an update on his condition in a statement released through the department.

"Shay is on a ventilator and will be for the foreseeable future or perhaps the rest of his life," the statement said.

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The family said Mikalonis is still listed in critical condition in a trauma unit at the University Medical Center in Las Vegas. They said he is awake and "appears to recognize his family."

"He had a set back today, but the outstanding staff at UMC is working hard to get his vitals back under control," the update said. 

He underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a shattered jaw.

The four-year veteran was hospitalized last week after he was shot near the Circus Circus casino on June 1 following a peaceful protest over the death of George Floyd. A suspect identified as Edgar Samaniego is being held without bail in the Clark County Detention Center on several felony charges, including attempted murder. 

Authorities said the 20-year-old fired at Mikalonis, piercing his spine with a bullet that eventually lodged into the right side of his face, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

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In an interview with police, Samaniego said he was trying to scare off protesters and didn't know police were in the area, according to the newspaper. 

Edgar-Samaniego.jpg

Edgar Samaniego, 20, has been charged with attempted murder in connection with the shooting of a Las Vegas police officer, authorities say.

The shooting occurred on the same night Las Vegas police shot an armed man who appeared to be wearing body armor near a courthouse. The man was pronounced dead en route to the hospital, authorities said.

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