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Police: Hotel altercation sparked deadly Vegas shooting

By Ken Ritter

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 12:29 p.m. HST, Feb 21, 2013

LAS VEGAS » The Las Vegas Strip became a scene of deadly violence early today when someone in a black Range Rover opened fire on a Maserati, sending it crashing into a taxi that burst into flames, leaving three people dead and at least six injured.

Police believe an altercation earlier at an unspecified casino resort prompted the car-to-car attack in the heart of the Strip at Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road.

The crossroads is the site of several major hotel-casinos, including Bellagio, Caesars Palace and Bally's.

"This doesn't happen where we come from, not on this scale," said Mark Thompson, who was visiting from Manchester, England, with his wife. "We get stabbings, and gang violence, but this is like something out of a movie. Like 'Die Hard' or something."

Police said they were contacting authorities in three neighboring states about the Range Rover Sport with dark tinted windows, distinctive black custom rims and paper dealer ads in place of license plates that fled the scene about 4:20 a.m.

In Southern California, the California Highway Patrol alerted officers in at least three counties to be on the lookout for the SUV.

Las Vegas Police Sgt. John Sheahan said the Range Rover was last seen near the Venetian resort as it headed north from the shooting scene on Las Vegas Boulevard.

Witnesses also told police the SUV and Maserati had come from the nearby CityCenter area, just south of the site of the attack.

"We have numerous witnesses to this," Sheahan said. "But what is the genesis of this? We don't know yet."

Police also have video from traffic cameras at the intersection and were checking hotel surveillance systems. The video will not be made public, Sheahan said.

Police said the Maserati hit the taxi cab, which went up in flames, and the driver and passenger were killed. The male driver of the Maserati also died, and his passenger was shot.

The crumpled, gray sports car, which had no license plates, came to rest several feet away from the incinerated taxi.

"The people I feel sorry for are the people in the taxi," said Elvina Joyce, a tourist from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. "Seconds made all the difference in the world for them. Wrong place, wrong time."

Joyce and her husband, Dave Joyce, were among the guests staying in high-rise hotels around the scene who found police tape blocking access to normally busy pedestrian crossings at the intersection. Hotel security officers and police shooed away people with cameras, and footbridges linking resort hotels were closed. Traffic around the area was snarled.

Sheahan said the closures were expected to last most of the day while crime scene investigators collected evidence.

"CSI," said Dave Joyce. "There it is. Real crime scene investigators in Las Vegas."

A convention-goer, Jeff Martin, 33, of Columbus, Ohio, said he was unable to cross the Strip several hours after the attack.

"When you're out at 4 a.m. nothing good's going to happen," he said.

Sheahan said the attack was not a rolling gun battle as previously described. The SUV and Maserati were stopped or approaching a red light when at least one person in the Range Rover opened fire. Several people were inside the SUV, the sergeant said.

Six vehicles were involved in the crash that followed, including the taxi and Maserati. The taxi was affiliated with Desert Cab company, according to general manager Sandy Shaver. He declined to comment further.

The taxi might have been propane-powered, Sheahan said.

The incident marked the latest violence on the Strip since the beginning of the year. Two people were critically wounded in a shooting at a parking garage Feb. 6, and a tourist was stabbed Saturday in an elevator at The Hotel at Mandalay Bay.

A spokesman for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Jeremy Handel, reassured people that much is being done to keep them safe.

"Recent incidents, while unfortunate, were isolated events," he said in a statement. "Las Vegas is among the safest travel destinations in the world and utilizes the most advanced technology and training to maintain a secure environment."

Las Vegas Police Officer Jose Hernandez acknowledged that the Strip has seen several violent incidents in recent weeks but said police have made arrests or identified suspects in each case.

"People don't have to worry," he said. "This is an unusual occurrence, as tragic as it may be."

The area near the scene of the latest shooting has been the site of high-profile violence in the past.

Rapper Tupac Shakur was killed in a drive-by in 1996 about a block away under similar circumstances, as assailants opened fire on his luxury sedan from a vehicle on Flamingo Road. The killing has never been solved.

Associated Press writers Michelle Rindels and Hannah Dreier contributed to this report.

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Pocho wrote:
WE need the mob to take over Las Vegas. Thisk it's safer when they were in control
on February 21,2013 | 04:14AM
RichardCory wrote:
Come on, it's too early to be on drugs, Pocho. Go back to bed.
on February 21,2013 | 04:50AM
Pocho wrote:
LOL, 2 cups coffee not enough?
on February 21,2013 | 05:23AM
jimmyhouse67 wrote:
That won't ever happen, but historically Pocho is correct. When the mob ran Vegas there wasn't this type of random crime, but that was also a different time period and society.
on February 21,2013 | 05:38AM
joewilly wrote:
Thanks for the true historical flashback Pocho. Fact is the mob would not be as successful as before, times have changed
on February 21,2013 | 05:45AM
f8ldzz wrote:
You'd need to go back another century to when people openly carried firearms... That should teach these thugs to go shooting at people!
on February 21,2013 | 09:11AM
ponowai wrote:
Yes different time and society, instead of mobs there are gangs. Wouldn't be surprised if gangs are involved with casinos. What was going on at the Palms?
on February 21,2013 | 10:54AM
Pocho wrote:
you don't deserve this report but here it is anyways: "Las Vegas rapper Kenneth Cherry, known as Kenny Clutch, was identified as one of the victims, police told the Las Vegas Review Journal." He's the driver of the Massarati and apparently he and his wounded occupant did not return any gun they they recv'd.
on February 21,2013 | 05:32PM
aomohoa wrote:
And you think they're not still? LOL!
on February 21,2013 | 03:45PM
808warriorfan wrote:
Only a "Pocho" would say something like that; hope they get the guy who pulled the trigger !!!!!
on February 21,2013 | 05:56PM
niimi wrote:
Jobfor CSI
on February 21,2013 | 04:57AM
1coconut wrote:
I wonder if the person who wrote this article graduated from the 2nd grade. God I would love to see the Maserati and SUV firing at each other. Normally its the people in the cars shooting at each other ,not the cars involved in a gun battle.
on February 21,2013 | 05:13AM
sparkyzane wrote:
Not 2nd grade just the Cut and Paste Academy.
on February 21,2013 | 07:17AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Of course if you want to be technical, that first sentence should read "A gunfight between OCCUPANTS OF a Maserati and an SUV on the Las Vegas Strip caused a fiery crash at an intersection involving a taxi that burst into flames, leaving three people dead and at least three injured early today, police said.
on February 21,2013 | 05:15AM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
Did I miss something? The article never says a gunfight occurred. It says that someone in the Range Rover opened fire on the Maserati. That's not a gunfight...that's a shooting.
on February 21,2013 | 08:08AM
miss_laulau wrote:
Again, innocent people were killed.
on February 21,2013 | 05:28AM
allie wrote:
Vegas is becoming one big crime scene. It is a really sorry city.
on February 21,2013 | 05:31AM
jimmyhouse67 wrote:
I'd have to agree with Allie on this one. As a resident of Las Vegas, it's a pit. From the government to the school system and crime, there aren't many worse places to be. It was fun years ago, but now I am looking to head on out. Great tourist town, but not much for living.
on February 21,2013 | 05:37AM
allie wrote:
yes, very wise choice. The city is toxic. No real community there. Nobody cares about other people. Hawaii is, for all tis faults, a decent place where many do care about others.
on February 21,2013 | 06:38AM
HD36 wrote:
Life's a risk allie. Where you gonna go for a vacation where you can eat the best foods from around the world at a fraction of the market value, and come home with an extra 5k? All perfectly legal.
on February 21,2013 | 06:50AM
allie wrote:
I prefer my humble homeland of North Dakota. Rural poverty but lovely vistas, lots of room to roam, loving people, dry air, peaceful nights...communities that care.
on February 21,2013 | 07:22AM
saveparadise wrote:
My in laws live just outside of Bismarck. Life has changed with many transients coming to work. Crime is on the rise.
on February 21,2013 | 08:18AM
allie wrote:
not in my eastern nd
on February 21,2013 | 09:08AM
townbound wrote:
Go back there please.
on February 21,2013 | 10:26AM
Squiggs wrote:
on February 21,2013 | 01:38PM
XlllX wrote:
on February 21,2013 | 06:36PM
aomohoa wrote:
Then go home!!!!! Have you ever even been any where but Oahu and ND.? I would think not. You are a little girl with no life experience. There are many amazing places in the world. If you don't open your mind you will never enjoy any of it. I have traveled the US and the world and trust me there is wonder every where!
on February 21,2013 | 03:18PM
aomohoa wrote:
There are actually many nice communities close to Vegas. People don't live n Vegas it is nothing but one hotel after another. Have you ever even been there allie? Almost every city in the US will have nice communities and not so nice. The best communities can have crime. The bad and crazy guys can go any where.
on February 21,2013 | 03:15PM
islandinthesun wrote:
I so agree with you, I got out in 2008 was there for 17 years.
on February 21,2013 | 10:15AM
akuboatcaptain wrote:
whatever happens in vegas should stay in vegas.
on February 21,2013 | 07:17AM
allie wrote:
vegas should stay in vegas! toxic zone
on February 21,2013 | 07:22AM
Squiggs wrote:
trolls from nd, should stay in nd
on February 21,2013 | 01:41PM
aomohoa wrote:
Especially ignorant little girls who think they know everything and really know nothing!
on February 21,2013 | 03:19PM
XlllX wrote:
that would be true except allie is probably a guy...
on February 21,2013 | 06:38PM
XlllX wrote:
Lenay is that you?
on February 21,2013 | 06:37PM
LRC wrote:
Star Advertiser....proof your work! Title makes no sense....should be AND?
on February 21,2013 | 06:51AM
busterb wrote:
How about the fact that the story repeats itself halfway through? LOL For a sec I thought I was either psychic or experiencing deja vu!
on February 21,2013 | 07:19AM
HD36 wrote:
Reminds me of when TuPac got gunned down.
on February 21,2013 | 07:10AM
ponowai wrote:
Yah like the Tupac shooting, must be gang related. Must be big time gangs to have cars like that. I wonder why the taxi caught on fire. If it was propane powered, would that make it more susceptible to catch on fire?
on February 21,2013 | 10:25AM
iwanaknow wrote:
So..............a new Maserati runs about $121K.............I saw one out at Turtle Bay last month......cool grey with red piping trim on the leather seats...............so that's how the 1% live?
on February 21,2013 | 08:45AM
allie wrote:
I have no interest in it. The rich who have it rent it and worry about violence from folks who resent them. They pay a huge price to show off.
on February 21,2013 | 09:09AM
ponowai wrote:
You either have some imagination or again just talking of what you know nothing about. When/where has there been violence from people who resent someone renting an expensive car?
on February 21,2013 | 11:12AM
aomohoa wrote:
Maybe you are just jealous since you own nothing. Not even the dirt in ND!
on February 21,2013 | 03:20PM
XlllX wrote:
on February 21,2013 | 06:37PM
kolekole wrote:
I have to go through Vegas to drive 75 miles to Bullhead city. I have no use for Vegas. I heard that if you're not looking, robbers take your ticket from your machine and stick it in another machine asap,then cash it in later. Or they cash it in really fast before you can do anything. Pueses being stolen. All kind of scams going on. You got to look around all the time for fear of being robbed or your wallet picked! Why would anyone want to go there?
on February 21,2013 | 09:01AM
aomohoa wrote:
You're going to the wrong part of town. LOL!
on February 21,2013 | 03:21PM
cojef wrote:
Legislators will be considering "casino gambling" soon. Wonder if this episode will affect how they resolve the issue.
on February 21,2013 | 09:51AM
WooWoo wrote:
Casino in Hawaii, anyone?
on February 21,2013 | 09:58AM
olos73 wrote:
Bring it on. Shootings, stabbings, etc., happening all over the place in Hawaii.
on February 21,2013 | 11:39AM
inverse wrote:
No one will say it but it is true, the more killings, murders that occur in California, Nevada, Mexico, etc.; and with highly energetic storms on the East coast due to possible man made global climate change where cold and warm weather collide causing high wind/ tornadic activity, the BETTER is is for the Hawaii visitor industry. In regards to proposed gambling in Hawaii start SMALL with a gov't controlled lottery FIRST and then see all that goes. Latter if no crime activity increases in Hawaii, then possibly add a small Casino in the Hawaii convention center. This type of murder seen in LV and CA is NOT directly related to gambling rather people with grudges/gangs/mental issues who have weapons who are not afraid to use them on other people. Just like the guy who executed his friend and then escaped from OCCC guards during transport. The guy would have murdered REGARDLESS of whether there was legalized gambling in Hawaii or not.
on February 21,2013 | 10:09AM
Sunny wrote:
I'll stay Downtown, it's too crazy on the Strip!
on February 21,2013 | 10:39AM
hanalei395 wrote:
At the California Hotel ... home away from home.
on February 21,2013 | 11:31AM
aomohoa wrote:
I'm sorry but I think it's dirty and creepy down town. Give me the Venetian, etc. any day
on February 21,2013 | 03:23PM
McB0B wrote:
I'll give two to one odds that when they find the people who did it not one of them will be an NRA member or a Republican, and that nobody will want to discuss what they have in common with most of the violence we see spiraling out of control in our cities because it's not politically correct.
on February 21,2013 | 11:03AM
aomohoa wrote:
So now you are calling Republicans murderers? LOL!
on February 21,2013 | 03:24PM
HD36 wrote:
I'll give you even odds they're from Souther California.
on February 21,2013 | 03:39PM
Carang_da_buggahz wrote:
What we really need here are more restrictive gun laws 'cause, see, if we do that then the criminals won't have guns and nobody will get shot anymore, right?
on February 21,2013 | 03:05PM
niimi wrote:
Most of the bad things happen between 11:00 PM and 5:00 AM. Anyone, young or old, should heed this advice as there is no real need to be out that late.
on February 21,2013 | 03:28PM
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