Thousands turn out to show support for officer shot in head during protest

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LAS VEGAS — The Las Vegas community is showing support for a police officer who was critically injured during protests on Monday, KLAS reports. 

Officer Shay Mikalonis is recovering after being shot in the head on June 1 while patrolling a Black Lives Matters protest on the Las Vegas Strip. 

According to an arrest report, the suspect accused of shooting Mikalonis, Edgar Samaniego, was not involved in the protest.

The Injured Police Officers Fund held a donation drive for his hospital bills Thursday. 

Organizers invited people to sign a banner with supportive messages. 

Officer Christina Pettit came out to show her support. Mikalonis’ step father Patrick Neville was there also. 

“Today is important because it just goes to show that there are people out there that do care for the family and do care for officers. So we would love to have their support,” Pettit said. 

Patrick Neville/Officer Shay Mikalonis’ Step Father: 

“The support has been phenomenal. It was almost overwhelming at times, which is not a bad thing; it’s a good thing. The community outpour is — I’ve never seen this,” Neville said. “I’ve been in Vegas for a long time. A lot of times, Vegas, gets a bad rap. They really do, and then you see this, and this is a real community. So we’re really proud to live here and proud of what the community has done.”

Organizers nicknamed Thursday “Shay Day.” 

The family said, as of Tuesday, Mikalonis was awake but still in critical condition. 

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