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Death penalty sought for man charged in Thanksgiving shooting spree

Updated September 23, 2021 - 7:10 am

Prosecutors are pursuing capital punishment for one of three people charged with carrying out a two-state shooting spree on Thanksgiving that left one man dead in Henderson and targeted nearly two dozen people.

Brothers Christopher and Shawn McDonnell, along with Kayleigh Lewis, all from Texas, each face 53 counts, including murder, attempted murder and terrorism.

Last week, prosecutors filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty for Shawn McDonnell, court records show.

He and Lewis were married in a Las Vegas wedding chapel just weeks before the shooting spree.

In one of the shootings, 22-year-old Kevin Mendiola Jr. of North Las Vegas was killed and three others were injured in front of a 7-Eleven on the 800 block of East Lake Mead Parkway in Henderson.

Four other shootings occurred on Henderson roads around the same time, according to a Henderson police report.

The crimes continued in the Parker, Arizona, area, where authorities said five more shootings occurred before the trio from Tyler, Texas, were arrested.

Authorities have said the McDonnells and Lewis had traveled as far as Washington, D.C., before returning west to the Las Vegas area.

Separately, Christopher McDonnell, who was on parole at the time of the shootings, faces a charge of ownership or possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Shawn McDonnell faces one count of resisting a public officer with use of a firearm.

All three defendants are being held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center.

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