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Video shows suspects’ Las Vegas wedding, weeks before deadly shooting spree

Updated January 14, 2021 - 9:27 am

A Las Vegas wedding video obtained by the Review-Journal shows the gleeful interactions of a Texas couple just weeks before authorities say they carried out a shooting spree that spanned two states and left one man dead.

Kayleigh Lewis, 25, wore a dark patterned dress with long sleeves and a red baseball cap. The cap, emblazoned with the words “Make America Great Again,” was turned backward.

Her smile rarely broke during the five-minute ceremony. She shifted her gaze from the officiant to her soon-to-be husband, with her right wrist nestled in the crook of his left arm.

Shawn McDonnell, 31, wore a blue Hawaiian shirt and pressed khakis with a black baseball cap, also worn backward. The cap, like his bride’s, displayed the campaign slogan popularized by President Donald Trump.

McDonnell smiled and stared deeply into Lewis’ eyes, pinching a ring in the fingers of his right hand, before slipping it onto her finger.

As they exchanged vows on Nov. 7, the pews of the downtown Graceland Wedding Chapel were empty.

“Let’s do right by each other and right by Father God,” McDonnell said.

Lewis squinted and said: “I agree. Let’s do it.”

Joe Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election earlier the same day.

Joyride across country

Not long after that, the couple took a weekslong joyride across the country with McDonnell’s younger brother, Christopher, a 28-year-old felon out on parole for assaulting a family member.

In a statement to authorities, the younger McDonnell said his brother had referenced an “upcoming war,” according to prosecutors.

The trio from Tyler, Texas, would travel as far as Washington, D.C., where thousands of other Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol last week, some referencing a “civil war.”

Thanksgiving Day shootings

Lewis and the brothers returned to Southern Nevada, authorities have said, with a desire to terrorize anyone in their path. And in the early morning hours of Thanksgiving Day, gunfire rang out in Henderson.

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. At least 10 people were targeted, and authorities received a report of another shooting that could bring that total to 11, prosecutors said.

The crimes continued in the Parker, Arizona, area, where authorities said five more shootings occurred before the trio was arrested by officers of the Arizona Department of Public Safety in La Paz County.

Death penalty sought

Prosecutors have said they plan to seek the death penalty and that terrorism could be added to the list of charges, which include murder and attempted murder, against the McDonnells and Lewis. They are being held at the Clark County Detention Center without bail.

At the end of their short wedding, Shawn McDonnell and Lewis kissed, holding hands as “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” played. He mouthed along to the lyrics “where the grapes of wrath are stored” before the video faded to black.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

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