Skip to main content

Rapper among dead after shooting, fiery crash on Las Vegas Strip

From Miguel Marquez, CNN
February 22, 2013 -- Updated 0737 GMT (1537 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Kenneth Cherry Jr., a rapper known as Kenny Clutch, was killed, his lawyer says
  • Gunfire and a fiery crash kill 3 in the heart of Las Vegas Strip
  • Casino visitor describes seeing "fireball" from Caesars Palace
  • Police are looking for a black Range Rover Sport with large black rims

Las Vegas (CNN) -- A shooting and a fiery crash left three people dead in the neon heart of the Las Vegas Strip on Thursday, and police scrambled to find out who triggered the carnage.

The bloodshed closed the Strip for about a block and a half around some of its biggest draws, leaving tourists gaping at a wrecked Maserati, a burned-out taxi and four other vehicles.

"First time in Vegas, and then, like, the whole thing, what you know from movies only -- I was shocked," Christine Gerstenberger, who was visiting the desert gambling mecca from Germany, said Thursday afternoon. She and her brothers debated going back to the hotel "because I'm totally scared," but "We're too curious," she said.

See iReporter's video of fire

One of those killed was Kenneth Cherry Jr. -- a rapper also known as Kenny Clutch -- his attorney Vicki Greco said. According to his Facebook page, Cherry is from Oakland, California, and lived in Las Vegas.

Cherry's death was shocking, Greco said.

"Out of everyone I know in the rapping 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, who said Cherry had two kids. "He didn't have a (criminal) record or a history. He was just a good kid trying to make it and be a good father."

Shooting on the Las Vegas strip

Four of the Nevada city's biggest casinos -- Caesars Palace, the Bellagio, Bally's and the Flamingo -- are nearby, and police collected surveillance-camera video from them to help the probe.

Also killed in the incident was a cab driver named Michael Boldon, CNN affiliate KVVU reported.

His family is devastated by the death of the 62-year-old cab driver, his brother Tehran Boldon told the affiliate.

"It is gut-wrenching," a tearful Tehran Boldon told KVVU. "My life mission would be to see them punished and brought to justice for the senseless thing they did."

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 the cause of the altercation, but he said it spilled onto the street as someone in a black Range Rover Sport fired several shots at the Maserati as it headed north on Las Vegas Boulevard.

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, Gillespie said.

The Maserati's passenger and other witnesses are helping detectives piece together what happened, he said. And the "top priority" for police is to find the Range Rover, which sped away from the intersection, and those inside it when the shooting happened.

"This act is totally unacceptable, and we are going to make a very clear message to these individuals in regards to that," Gillespie said.

Police in neighboring states have been asked to look for the sport-utility vehicle, and 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 had an out-of-state dealer 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. John Lamb, who was inside Caesars Palace, told CNN affiliate KLAS he heard the commotion and saw the taxi on fire from a window.

"There was a loud bang, and I hear two other booms. I looked out my window at Caesars Palace ... and could see the fireball," he told KLAS.

Man kills 3, himself in Southern California shooting

CNN's Cristy Lenz, Matt Smith, Tom Watkins, Jason Hanna and Deanna Hackney contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1818 GMT (0218 HKT)
While aspects of the fighting in Gaza resemble earlier clashes, this time feels different, writes military analyst Rick Francona.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 0354 GMT (1154 HKT)
If India and the U.S. were Facebook friends, the relationship between them would undoubtedly be "complicated." Can the U.S. Secretary of State's visit change that?
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1438 GMT (2238 HKT)
The death of an American from Ebola fuels fears of the further global spread of the virus.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1835 GMT (0235 HKT)
Take a look inside Airbus' new -- and surprisingly quiet -- A350XWB.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1108 GMT (1908 HKT)
Flowers, a teddy bear and the smells of jet fuel and death haunt the MH17 crash site.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Nearly two weeks after MH17 was blown out of the sky, Dutch investigators have yet to lay eyes on the wreckage. How useful will it be now?
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1510 GMT (2310 HKT)
The U.S. and EU are imposing new sanctions on Moscow -- but will they have any effect?
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
July 26, 2014 -- Updated 0048 GMT (0848 HKT)
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 1303 GMT (2103 HKT)
Photograph of an undisclosed location by Patrycja Makowska
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT