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10 people targeted in Henderson shooting spree, police say

Updated November 30, 2020 - 2:47 pm

An arrest report detailing a series of shootings in the Henderson area on Thanksgiving morning documents how a trio armed with guns approached 10 strangers at random and shot at them for no apparent reason.

In one of those shootings, 22-year-old Kevin Mendiola Jr. was killed and three others were injured in front of a 7-Eleven in the 800 block of Lake Mead Parkway. Four other shootings happened on roadways in the Henderson area around the same time, according to the Henderson police report.

The shootings then continued in the Parker, Arizona, area, where three suspects in a sedan were ultimately arrested. Arizona authorities said the three were arrested after a vehicle chase, crash and a shooting involving the Arizona Department of Public Safety in La Paz County, Arizona.

Authorities have identified the suspects as Christopher McDonnell, 28, Shawn McDonnell, 30, and Kayleigh Lewis, 25. Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said all three suspects are from Tyler, Texas.

“They traveled from Tyler, Texas, to Las Vegas,” Wolfson said. “It appears that these were events that were planned before they arrived here in Las Vegas. I believe they were primarily random shootings, but more information will come out in the near future about why they chose to shoot at particular people.”

Neither Wolfson nor Henderson police have said whether they believe all three suspects carried out the shootings.

The La Paz County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that Lewis remained in custody Monday in the county jail. Kameron Lee, a sergeant with the Arizona Department of Public Safety, said Shawn McDonnell is hospitalized in Southern Nevada and is in the custody of Henderson police.

“I don’t believe he’s been booked, ” Lee said.

Christopher McDonnell’s location was not immediately clear on Monday, but Wolfson said he was still in Arizona after initially being hospitalized there. La Paz County authorities said he had not been booked. He is scheduled for an initial appearance Tuesday in Henderson Justice Court.

An arrest report for Christopher McDonnell, filed in Henderson Justice Court, indicates that Henderson police were called to the 7-Eleven on Lake Mead Parkway at 12:54 a.m. There, they found one man dead from a gunshot wound and three others injured.

Police initially reported that five people had been shot at the convenience store.

The arrest report identifies Mendiola as the victim who was killed, although the Clark County coroner’s office had not released his name as of Monday morning.

An outpouring of support was demonstrated online for Mendiola over the weekend. One online posting from Mendiola’s father, also named Kevin Mendiola, said:

“We are devastated but we Know You Are (in) Gods Arms right now. Love you my Boy.”

Facebook posts indicate that the younger Mendiola attended Legacy High School and played football there. His Facebook page indicates that he lived in North Las Vegas.

The shooting spree

Henderson police said the first shooting Thursday was at 12:37 a.m. on the westbound 215 Beltway near the Valle Verde Drive offramp. The report said two people “were driving on the freeway and a black colored vehicle had pulled up next to their car and discharged a gun at the vehicle.”

The occupants of the vehicle were not injured.

Another shooting happened at 12:40 a.m. on the Auto Show Drive onramp to U.S. Highway 95. A woman said she was driving in the area when her vehicle was struck by gunfire. She was not injured.

The next shooting happened at Warm Springs Road near Cadence View Way. A victim was driving in the area when a dark-colored vehicle pulled up and an individual shot at him. He was not injured.

Four people then were shot at the 7-Eleven.

According to witnesses and video evidence, a white woman with “dark discoloration under her left eye and a white male wearing a black long sleeve shirt and camouflage pants with possible tattoos on his face” entered the store. They then exited the store, and the man started discharging a handgun.

One witness reported seeing two gunmen — the one who went in the store with the woman and another who emerged from the dark vehicle they arrived in.

A female witness said one of the gunmen at the store approached her vehicle, tapped on the window with a firearm and said, “You’re not going to die today.”

One of the gunmen at the store had a tattoo on his face “described as stitching to resemble a skeleton.”

Witnesses said the attackers were in a dark-colored vehicle with a Texas license plate.

After the shooting at the convenience store, another shooting occurred a short time later at Lake Mead Parkway near the entrance to Lake Las Vegas. Two people were in a vehicle there when a dark vehicle pulled up and a gunman opened fire. One victim was struck in the arm.

A jail booking log for Lewis shows that she is a native of Texas. Wolfson said local authorities are in touch with federal authorities and that the crimes committed are “matters of the most extreme nature.”

Wolfson said the district attorney’s office will file a criminal complaint Tuesday morning against Christopher McDonnell “charging him with 20 felonies, including murder with use of a deadly weapon and many related charges.”

The district attorney said an investigation is continuing into all three suspects.

“We plan on filing the appropriate charges at the appropriate time,” Wolfson said.

Contact Glenn Puit by email at gpuit@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter.

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