LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — The father of a Rancho High School student beaten to death is calling for action in the community.
He doesn’t want any other family to feel the pain of losing a child like he did.
17-year-old Jonathan Lewis died last week after several days on life support.
“Jonathan was an incredible loving and kind and generous young man,” said Jonathan Lewis Sr. “He cared about the people around him.”
He is still coming to terms after the death of his son.
“Just an incredible young man who just loved life and loves his family,” said Lewis Sr.
Lewis Jr. was brutally beaten by around 15 people near his school earlier this month.
A video has been circulating on social media of the teen punching a person and then a group attacking the teen in an alley off campus near Searles Avenue and North 21st Street.
Lewis Sr. shared with News 3 what he was told led to the incident.
“He was trying to protect one of his smaller friends,” he said. “There’s some things that were being stolen from him as we understand it, and he went to kind of defend him, and three of them kind of attacked him, and he defended himself. And they couldn’t beat him up. So, the rest of the group joined in.”
Lewis Jr. died last Tuesday after being on life support.
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“It’s just like absolute lunacy,” said Lewis Sr. “You know, and it just, it just looks like these kids are just kind of gone totally mad, and they’re just totally just possessed by hate, and you know, anger and rage, and just don’t have enough love.”
Parents and students at Rancho have reacted to the news of Lewis’ death.
“I just think it’s kind of scary,” said Vicktoria Mendoza, who attends the school. “Like it can happen to anybody. So, you just have to be careful.”
“Just hoping that this doesn’t happen again in any school district and that no parents have to endure this type of pain for their child,” said Rancho High School parent Byron Foster.
Lewis Sr., who works with troubled young youth himself, is now calling for action from the community.
He set up a website where he announced he is 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,” said Lewis Sr.
His solutions include: working with partnerships involved in youth violence, including the volunteer program 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.
News 3 reached out to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and they say they are still actively investigating the incident.
The Clark County District Attorney’s office says they don’t have the case yet since it is still under investigation.
If any of the people in the incident are charged with murder, for example, and are 16 or older, they will go directly to the adult system because of Nevada law.