The manhunt is on for the perpetrators of the Las Vegas strip shooting early Thursday morning. According to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police, several men fired into rapper Kenny Clutch’s Maserati as he pulled out of the valet parking area at the Aria Hotel and Casino — located near the heart of the central strip at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road.
Clutch, already dying, lost control as he pulled into traffic, crashing into a taxi with such force that it caught fire, leaving the 62-year-old driver and his passenger also dead at the scene. Dan Whitcomb reporting for Reuters said that the resulting mess caused other collisions involving four more cars, leaving at least four other people injured.
The intersection is the busiest in Las Vegas, according to Henry Brean of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. 150,000 vehicles a day pass through that corner, which is near some of the world’s most popular casino resorts, including Bellagio and Caesar’s Palace. It was blocked off as a crime scene for almost 15 hours. Foot traffic, including the pedestrian bridges that allow tourists to stroll from one casino to another, was also blocked off.
However, it is believed that the unknown shooters never left their vehicle. The manhunt has now expanded into a multi-state search for the black Range Rover involved in the shooting.
Law enforcement officers in Utah, Arizona, and California, as well as Nevada, are actively seeking the vehicle.
The Las Vegas police report of the shooting described the SUV as a “newer model” black Range Rover with tinted windows and large black rims, “last seen traveling northbound on Las Vegas Boulevard.” The Reuters report said that the vehicle has “paper” dealer plates.
The guns used in the killing are described as “unknown,” and there is no good description of the men in the vehicle. They are believed to be black, and there may be several of them.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Sheriff Doug Gillespie warned that the shooters were armed and dangerous. ABC News quoted him as saying: “The suspects in this shooting have no regard for the lives and safety of others.”
He added: “These individuals will be found, they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
Maybe so, but many Vegas residents and visitors still recall the 1996 slaying of 25-year-old Tupac Shakur who was gunned down in his BMW after attending a boxing match. That murder took place at the nearby intersection of Flamingo Road and Koval Lane.
Despite years of conspiracy theories and an extensive search, the killer was never found.
Thursday’s Las Vegas strip shooting is a tragedy for the victims and a source of bad memories for the city.