High school student beaten to death after trying to stop friend from being bullied

High school student beaten to death by mob of 15 for trying to stop friend from being bullied

(As originally published with additional photos and video, Mon, November 13th 2023, 9:22 PM EST; local article here)

LAS VEGAS (TND) — A high school student in Las Vegas has died, nearly a week after a brutal beating by about 15 people near his school, police say.

Officers responded to reports of a fight involving students on the afternoon of Nov. 1.

What they say actually happened was people hitting and kicking Jonathan Lewis, Jr., in an alley off campus.

The violence was recorded and shared on social media.

Lewis appeared to be unconscious and was in such bad condition when police arrived that the department’s Homicide Section led the investigation from the beginning.

He died on Nov. 7.

According to a GoFundMe page, “One of his smaller friends had something stolen by this group of 15 and they threw the small boy in the trash can and our son confronted them, and he was attacked by them. He’s a courageous young man.”

High school student beaten to death after trying to stop friend from being bullied
Video of people hitting and kicking Jonathan Lewis, Jr., in an alley off campus was recorded and shared on social media. (GoFundMe)

KSNV spoke to a lawyer not involved in the case about what could happen if anybody is arrested.

“You are negligent in intentionally doing something, and somebody died,” Matthew Hoffmann said. “The person that he initially assaulted potentially would have self-defense. The people that came to defend would say that they were defending as well, but that only goes so far. You can defend somebody from a threat of harm, but once the harm is neutralized, you can’t continue. What I saw there was a neutralized threat, getting the absolute life beat out of them.”

His father, who works with troubled youth, is calling for action from the community.

He set up a website to announce he’s starting a foundation called “Team Jonathan.”

“You might be able to get the parents to be able to start having some more compassion and teaching the children to be more loving and, and recognize, recognize that, you know, that we need conflict resolution,” Jonathan Lewis, Sr., said.

He told KSNV his solutions include working with a volunteer program with dads in schools, building a social media mentoring and safety app for troubled youth, and having conflict and trauma resolution training in schools.

“The goal is to save other kids to Jonathan, and yeah, of course, I don’t want anybody to ever have to suffer through this madness,” he said.

That GoFundMe page had a goal of raising $25,000.

As of Monday evening, 1,100 people donated $62,362.

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