Vegas Strip Shooting Suspect Arrested in Studio City
STUDIO CITY, Calif. (KTLA) — Ammar Harris, the man wanted for three high-profile murders in Las Vegas, was arrested in the San Fernando Valley on Thursday.
He was arrested by a fugitive task force without incident around noon at the Archview Apartments in Studio City.
This comes after Harris allegedly shot a man inside a sports car, triggering a fiery crash that shut down the Las Vegas Strip.
KTLA has learned that he had been staying with a female friend named Courtney up on the fourth floor.
“We’re conducting a search of the apartment that he was staying in trying to gather some evidence,” said FBI Special Agent Scott Garriola.
Federal agents had tracked Harris to the building several days ago, and had been seeking information about his female companion.
“All day they were calling me, asking what was going on the apartment above me,” said Satu Rautaharju, who lives right under where Harris was staying.
“I knew something was not right about her,” she said, of the woman.
“She moved in a few months ago, and she’s just been a nightmare neighbor… Loud music, two or three nights a week, right in the middle of the night.”
The shooting and subsequent chain-reaction crash and explosion along the Vegas Strip reportedly followed an argument Harris had with aspiring rapper Kenneth Cherry.
Authorities say Harris was at the wheel of a black Range Rover around 4:15 a.m. last Thursday when he pulled up to a Maserati driven by Cherry, who was also known as Kenny Clutch.
The Maserati’s driver opened his window and the two then had a “very brief exchange” before the light turned green and they headed off.
A few minutes later, the Range Rover’s driver opened fire — in two separate bursts — at the Maserati, which was heading north on Las Vegas Boulevard, authorities said.
The sequence ended with Cherry shot in the chest and arm. His vehicle collided with a taxi, which caught fire.
The crash killed cab driver Michael Boldon and a passenger, Washington state resident Sandra Sutton-Wasmund. The 27-year-old Cherry later died at a hospital.
Las Vegas police identified Harris as the shooting suspect on Saturday, at which time they said his vehicle had been impounded.
He had an “extensive and violent criminal history” and was considered armed and dangerous, according to police.
Harris calls himself a pimp, but it’s unclear if the female friend he was staying with was part of that business.
“She’s well-off, she’s very young and she drives a nice car,” Rautaharju said. “I’ve always been like, what does she do to live here?”
What’s clear is that the woman is being questioned by the FBI. What’s unclear is whether she took part in the Vegas attack.
On Tuesday, police said they looking for a woman in connection with the shooting, who they believed was inside the Range Rover at the time.
At the time, they characterized her as missing and possibly endangered. The photos they released, however, showed the wrong woman.
On Thursday, Las Vegas police said they no longer considered the woman — identified as Yenesis Alfonso, also known as Tineesha Howard — “a missing person or a person of interest.”
A woman who identified herself as Howard’s mother told CNN that her daughter and Harris have been girlfriend and boyfriend for about a year.
Police said woman indeed had been in the Range Rover that Thursday morning with Harris and was safe.
They said she and two other passengers in the vehicle were not suspects, and authorities don’t have any plans to charge them.
Meantime, Harris remains in custody, awaiting extradition back to Las Vegas.
He is charged with three counts of murder and “other attendant felonies,” according to authorities.
The 11 charges include firing at a vehicle, firing from a vehicle and attempted murder, the criminal complaint states. Additional charges could be coming.
The local district attorney said all the information compiled thus far will be weighed in a decision on whether to seek the death penalty.