A shooting and a fiery crash left three dead – including rapper Kenneth Cherry Jr., a.k.a. Kenny Clutch – in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip on Thursday.
Police are scrambled to find out who triggered the carnage as the bloodshed closed the Strip for about a block and a half around some of its biggest draws.
Instead of the usual sights of Sin City, tourists reportedly gasped at the tragic sight of a wrecked Maserati, a burned-out taxi and four other vehicles.
One of those killed was Cherry, also known as Kenny Clutch, his attorney Vicki Greco said. Cherry is from Oakland, Calif., and lived in Las Vegas.
Cherry’s death was shocking, Greco said.
“Out of everyone I know in the industry there is no way I would have ever, ever expected to find that he was shot on the Las Vegas strip in such an aggressive manner,” said Greco.
“He didn’t have any sort of (criminal) record or a history at all.”
“He was just a good kid trying to make it and be a good father.”
Also killed in the crash was a cab driver named Michael Boldon, CNN affiliate KVVU reported. His brother Tehran Boldon confirmed that tragic death.
“It is gut-wrenching,” a tearful Tehran Boldon said. “My life mission would be to see them punished and brought to justice for the senseless thing they did.”
What caused the Las Vegas shooting? It started around 4:20 a.m. with a dispute in the valet lot of the Aria Hotel, about a block away, Sheriff Douglas Gillespie said.
Investigators haven’t confirmed many details, but he said an altercation began on the street as someone in a black Range Rover fired several shots at the Maserati.
When the driver was hit, the Maserati continued into the intersection of the boulevard and Flamingo Road and collided with a taxi, which caught fire.
The sports car’s driver, the cab driver and a passenger in the taxi all died; a passenger in the Maserati and three other people in the resulting pileup were hurt.
The Maserati’s passenger and other witnesses are helping detectives piece together what happened. The “top priority” for police is to find the Range Rover.
“This act is totally unacceptable, and we are going to make a very clear message to these individuals in regards to that,” Gillespie told the media.
Police in neighboring states have been asked to look for the sport-utility vehicle; Gillespie warned the occupants should be considered armed and dangerous.
“Clearly, the suspects have no regard for the lives and safety of others,” he said.
The Range Rover in question had an out-of-state dealer license plate, tinted windows and large, black rims, Las Vegas Police Sgt. John Sheahan said.
The block around the crash remained closed off into Thursday afternoon.