Wednesday, May 5, 2021 | 1:05 p.m.
When former Metro Police Officer Shay Mikalonis learned the Las Vegas City Council wanted to recognize him, the first thing that came to his mind was, why?
Mikalonis, who was shot and paralyzed while helping make an arrest during a protest last year on the Las Vegas Strip, thought the people who really deserved the recognition were the paramedics who helped save his life. His heart stopped beating on the way to the hospital, and it was those paramedics who revived him.
“He was very excited to get the honor but paused and said, ‘All I did was get shot,’” said his stepfather Patrick Neville.
The council today recognized Mikalonis as the city’s Citizen of the Month.
“I want Shay and his family to know the city of Las Vegas will always be there,” said Councilwoman Victoria Seaman.
His father, Guy Mikalonis, accepted the award on his son’s behalf.
Shay Mikalonis, who suffered a severe spinal cord injury, is on a ventilator at home and is paralyzed from the neck down. He returned to Las Vegas from Colorado in March after being discharged from a rehabilitation hospital.
Mikalonis was shot June 1 on the north Strip during a protest over the death of George Floyd during an arrest in Minnesota.
The suspect, Edgar Samaniego, 20, was arrested hours later at a nearby motel on counts of attempted murder, battery and firearms violations, police said.
Mayor Carolyn Goodman noted the severity of the injuries Mikalonis somehow survived. “He's a man of solid steel,” she said at today’s ceremony attended by a number of Metro officers.
Neville, a former Metro officer, said Mikalonis has received get-well cards from people all over the world.
Mikalonis had been an officer for five years before he was shot. Guy Mikalonis said his son was inspired to become a police officer by his brother, Chaz Mikalonis, who is also a Metro officer.
Neville said that over the 32 years he was a police officer, he saw other officers injured or killed in the line of duty but never thought his stepson would be among them. “You don't get used to it,” he said.