Local News

Aspiring Rapper Killed in Vegas Shooting, Crash

LAS VEGAS (CNN) — Police are on an “intense” and “extremely focused” nationwide manhunt for the occupants of a black Range Rover at the center of a shooting on the Las Vegas strip that claimed three lives.

The incident involved a Maserati that was shot at and subsequently crashed into a taxi, which caught fire.

The driver of the Maserati, whom family identified as Kenneth Cherry Jr., died at a hospital. The taxi driver and a passenger also died.

The shots were fired from the Range Rover, which Las Vegas police spokesman Bill Cassell said could be anywhere.

Police have received multiple reports of vehicles that match the description, but “at this point, we have no information that the vehicle in the crime has been located,” he said Friday.

Cassell declined to say if there was one suspect or several, citing the ongoing investigation.

Cherry, an aspiring rapper known as Kenny Clutch, was driving his Maserati on Thursday when someone in the Range Rover fired several shots at his car as it headed north on Las Vegas Boulevard.

The Maserati continued into the intersection of the boulevard and Flamingo Road and collided with a taxi, which caught fire, killing cab driver Michael Boldon, 62, CNN affiliate KVVU said.

“It is gut-wrenching,” Boldon’s brother, Tehran Boldon, tearfully told KVVU. “My life mission will be to see them punished and brought to justice for the senseless thing they did.”

A passenger in the taxi also died. A passenger in the Maserati and three others were injured in the pileup, Sheriff Douglas Gillespie said.

The fire closed a block and a half of the Strip near some of its biggest draws: Caesars Palace, the Bellagio, Bally’s and the Flamingo. Police collected surveillance video from the casinos.

The shooting took place two blocks from where rapper Tupac Shakur was killed in 1996.

Cherry prominently features his Maserati in a music video on YouTube.

“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 Vicki Greco, Cherry’s attorney. “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.”

Cherry had two children, she said.

“First time in Vegas, and then, like, the whole thing, what you know from movies only — I was shocked,” said Christine Gerstenberger, who was visiting from Germany.

Thursday’s incident started about 4:20 a.m. with a dispute in the valet lot of the Aria hotel, about a block away, Gillespie said. Investigators haven’t confirmed the cause of the altercation, but he said it spilled onto the street.

The Maserati’s passenger and other witnesses are helping detectives piece together what happened, he said. The “top priority” for police is to find those who were inside the Range Rover, which sped away from the intersection.

John Lamb, who was inside Caesars Palace, told CNN affiliate KLAS that he heard the commotion and saw the taxi on fire from a window.

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

Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Stoppers of Nevada at (702) 385-5555.

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