Maserati Driver in Vegas Shooting-Crash was Rapper

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  • LAS VEGAS (AP) — Police searched Friday for a Range Rover with dark tinted windows and custom rims that set off a fiery crash on the Las Vegas Strip when someone in the luxury SUV opened fire on a Maserati driven by an aspiring rapper.

    Kenneth Cherry’s great aunt, Patricia Sims, of Oakland, Calif., told The Associated Press that Cherry’s parents were traveling to Las Vegas to claim their son’s body.

    Sims said Cherry recently moved from Northern California to Las Vegas, though she didn’t know her nephew was a rapper using the name Kenny Clutch.

    The Clark County coroner said it could be this weekend before he can identify the taxi driver and a female passenger killed when the taxi they were in was hit and exploded in flames early Thursday on Las Vegas Boulevard.

    At least six other people were injured in what marked the latest in a series of violent episodes in Las Vegas in recent months.

    Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie told reporters the shooting was sparked by an argument in the valet area of the nearby Aria hotel-casino, and spilled over to one of the busiest intersections on the Las Vegas Strip. As bullets flew from the Range Rover, the Maserati ran a red light and smashed into a taxi that exploded into flames, killing the driver and a passenger. A passenger in the Maserati was wounded.

    Police have not released the identities of the victims.

    Three more cars and a utility truck also collided as the Range Rover sped off in the darkness at about 4:30 a.m. Thursday.

    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. He said police have video from traffic cameras at the intersection and were checking hotel surveillance systems, but added that the video will not be made public.

    “What happened will not be tolerated,” Gillespie said, vowing that the shooters would be “found and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

    Jogger Eric Lackey was on his way back to the New York-New York hotel when he snapped a cellphone photo of the blazing scene moments after the crash. Black smoke billowed from the flaming taxi, amid popping sounds from the fire.

    Lackey, of Forest Hill, Md., said a security officer in a yellow shirt performed CPR on a person on the sidewalk while police officers canvassed a small crowd of perhaps 15 onlookers gathering at the scene.

    “Police were asking if anyone was still in the vehicles and if they heard gunfire,” Lackey told The Associated Press. “That’s when I realized it wasn’t just a regular accident.”

    The effects of the shooting and crashes were felt hours later as the Strip remained closed, leading to snarled traffic, until it reopened late Thursday night.

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