Story Summary

Las Vegas Strip Shooting and Crash

vegas-storyThe suspect in a shooting that sparked a fiery crash on the Las Vegas Strip, leaving three people dead, was arrested at an apartment in the San Fernando Valley.

26-year-old Ammar Harris is charged with three counts of murder, as well as other felonies. He is expected to be extradited back to Nevada.

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LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — The man accused in a shooting and crash that left three people dead on the Las Vegas strip appeared in court in Los Angeles on Monday.

26-year-old Ammar Harris was expected to be extradited to Nevada after Monday’s proceeding, but an identity hearing has been scheduled for next week.

vegas-shooting-guyHis arrest in the San Fernando Valley on Thursday ended an intense multi-state search following the deadly Feb. 21 incident.

Authorities say Harris was behind the wheel of a black Range Rover around 4:15 a.m. when he pulled up next to a Maserati and yelled at its driver.

That man, a witness said, was Kenneth Cherry, an aspiring rapper also known as Kenny Clutch.

The Maserati’s driver opened his window and the two had a “very brief exchange” before the light turned green, according to the arrest warrant.

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. Cherry, 27, later died at a hospital.

Las Vegas police identified Harris as the shooting suspect on Feb. 23, two days after the shooting.

They said his vehicle had been impounded and that he had an “extensive and violent criminal history,” and should be considered armed and dangeorus.

Harris is charged with three counts of murder and “other attendant felonies,” according to the Clark County district attorney.

The 11 charges include firing at a vehicle, firing from a vehicle and attempted murder, the criminal complaint states. Additional charges could be coming.

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 policeĀ  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.

-KTLA News/CNN

LAS VEGAS (CNN/KTLA) — Police have identified a suspect in a fatal shooting and crash on the Las Vegas Strip that left three people dead.

The suspect is 26-year-old Ammar Asim Faruq Harris, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said Saturday in a press release. He is at large, though a black Range Rover police said he was driving early Thursday morning has been impounded.

ammarharris

Police consider Harris to be armed and dangerous, and said in a statement that he has “an extensive and violent criminal history.” He has several tattoos, including a small heart -shaped one below his right eye and a large one of an owl that covers his neck and part of his chest.

Kenneth Cherry, an aspiring rapper known as Kenny Clutch, was driving his Maserati around 4:20 a.m. Thursday when someone in a Range Rover shot at his car as it headed north on Las Vegas Boulevard. Cherry, who was shot in the chest and arm, later died at a hospital.

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, CNN affiliate KVVU said.

A passenger in the taxi — identified by the Clark County coroner’s office as Sandra Sutton-Wasmund, 48, of Maple Valley, Washington — also died. Her death and the deaths of Boldon and Cherry have been ruled homicides, according to the coroner’s office.

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.

The 27-year-old Cherry leaves behind three children, the oldest being 2 years old and the youngest just 2 months, his father said.

Kenneth Cherry Sr. blasted news reports and social media messages about his son, claiming some had falsely characterized him as a person “involved in the rap life.” He also disputed accounts that his son exchanged gunfire with the Range Rover’s driver, saying he wasn’t even armed at the time.

“I don’t like the way that some of the media stations are portraying my son, because he was black, (like) he’s a criminal,” the elder Cherry told reporters. “My son was a good boy.”

But according to a report by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Cherry may not have been quite as innocent as his father claimed. The paper, citing court documents, reported that Cherry had a history working as a pimp.

While the police department statement named Harris as the suspect, it did not indicate any charges have been filed so far.

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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