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Police ‘confident’ suspect was lone gunman in Thursday’s Strip shooting


Steve Marcus

Wrecked cars are shown on Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Avenue as Las Vegas Metro Police investigate a shooting and multi-car accident that left three people dead and three injured on the Las Vegas Strip early Thursday morning, Feb. 21, 2013. EDITOR’S NOTE: This photo has been digitally altered to obscure an image of one of the victims.

Updated Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 | 3:50 p.m.

Click to enlarge photo

Ammar Harris is sought in connection with the deaths of three people on the Strip on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013.

Click to enlarge photo

Metro Police released this second photo of Ammar Harris in the hopes of locating the suspect in connection with the deaths of three people on the Strip on Feb. 21, 2013.

Shooting Media Address

Las Vegas Metro Police Capt. Chris Jones addresses the media about shooting suspect Ammar Harris, Monday, Feb. 25, 2013. Launch slideshow »

There is little doubt in the minds of Metro Police that Ammar Harris, wanted in connection with last week’s shooting on Las Vegas Boulevard that ended in the deaths of three people, was the lone gunman, Metro Police said in a news conference Monday afternoon.

“We are confident Ammar Harris was and is the only shooter that night,” Lt. Ray Steiber, head of Metro’s homicide division, said in announcing a warrant had been issued charging Harris with three counts of murder.

Ammar Harris, 26, is suspected of shooting and killing Kenneth Cherry Jr. from a black Range Rover early Thursday on the Las Vegas Strip near Flamingo Road. After Cherry was shot, his Maserati crashed into multiple vehicles, including a taxi that exploded on impact at Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road. Cherry was killed, along with the taxi driver, Michael Boldon, 62, of Las Vegas, and a passenger in the taxi, Sandra Sutton-Wasmund, 48, of Maple Valley, Wash. An unidentified passenger in the Maserati was grazed by a gunshot but has survived.

Police found the Range Rover on Saturday afternoon at the Meridian apartments on Flamingo Road near Koval Lane, but there was no sign of Harris, who also goes by the name Ammar Asim Faruq Harris.

He is described as a 5-foot-11, 180-pound black man with brown hair, brown eyes and several distinct tattoos, including a heart-shaped one below his right eye and a large owl on his neck.

Police urged anyone with information about the suspect’s location to contact authorities — and they issued a warning to anyone helping him elude capture.

“You will be arrested and prosecuted,” said Capt. Chris Jones, who oversees Metro’s robbery and homicide bureau. “You may think you’re being a friend, but keep in mind that Ammar Harris is wanted for the murder of three citizens.”

Steiber said no weapons were found in and no shots were fired from the Maserati. Asked about reports about Cherry's background, Steiber said, "He is a victim of murder. That's what we're focused on."

Police believe the shooting occurred after a verbal altercation between Cherry and Harris at the Aria valet area spilled onto the Strip. Harris had been in a nightclub before the altercation, Steiber said.

Steiber would not say how many people were in the Range Rover with Harris, nor would he comment on whether any of them were in custody. He said there were no weapons in the vehicle Saturday when police recovered it.

Steiber did not directly address reports the search for Harris now was focused on the southeastern United States. Rather, Steiber said the search extended "from Maine to California."

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said a warrant for Harris’ arrest was issued late Friday.

Wolfson, who attended the news conference but didn't speak to the media until afterward, said his office had been involved in the case since “day one,” when two prosecutors responded to the scene of the deadly incident.

“This was horrendous behavior,” Wolfson said. “It was reckless. It was callous. We’re not going to tolerate this in this community.”

Police urge anyone with information regarding Harris’ whereabouts to call the Metro Police homicide division at (702) 828-3521 or Crime Stoppers at (702) 385-5555.

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