Man pleads not guilty to shooting, paralyzing Vegas officer

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The man accused of shooting and paralyzing a Las Vegas police officer during a protest in June pleaded not guilty to eight charges in a hearing on Thursday.

Edgar Samaniego, 20, faces charges of attempted murder with a deadly weapon, battery with a deadly weapon, and three counts each of assault with a deadly weapon and discharging a firearm within a structure/vehicle within a prohibited area.

Prosecutors say Samaniego shot officer Shay Mikalonis in the head on June 1 as Mikalonis was attempting to disperse protesters.

Samaniego’s attorney said his client fired shots in the air to help police clear the protestors, KXNT-AM reported.

Mikalonis is now paralyzed from the neck down.

Samaniego’s pre-trial hearing is scheduled for December 1 and his trial is scheduled to begin in January 2021.