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December 2, 2015

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Metro Police report sheds light on details of fatal Strip shooting

Suspect Ammar Harris went to Haze before arguing with victim outside casino


Steve Marcus

Officials investigate the site of a shooting and multi-car accident that left three people dead and at least three injured on the Las Vegas Strip early Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013.

Ammar Harris

Ammar Harris

Metro Police Hold News Conference after Ammar Harris Arrested

A photo of Ammar Harris is displayed on a video monitor before a news conference at Las Vegas Metropolitan Police headquarters Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 after Harris was arrested in North Hollywood. Harris, 26, is the suspect of last Thursday's shooting and accident on the Las Vegas Strip that left three people dead. Launch slideshow »

Strip shooting crash

Smoke and flames billow from a burning vehicle following a shooting and multicar accident on the Las Vegas Strip early Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Ammar Harris went to Haze nightclub at Aria before arguing with Kenneth Cherry Jr. outside the casino and then opening fire on the Strip, killing Cherry and two others, documents from Metro Police released Thursday allege.

The warrant arrest report indicates Metro Police traced both Cherry and Harris’ movements in the early morning hours of Feb. 21 using surveillance video from Aria, Vdara and Bellagio, and footage from a dashboard camera in a taxi.

Harris, 26, arrived at the north valet area of Aria in a black Range Rover at 1:30 a.m. accompanied by a female, according to the report. Harris then entered Haze nightclub, where rapper French Montana was performing and Harris had reserved a table with three females.

Around 3:50 a.m., Harris left Haze. As Harris came to the valet area at Aria, Cherry, 27, exited the casino and got into his silver Maserati after spending a short time at Aria. Cherry had a passenger in his car, identified as Freddy Walters.

At 4:10 a.m. the female who arrived with Harris went to the Range Rover in the valet area while Harris walked over to Cherry’s Maserati, approached the driver’s door and “remained there for a second or two before walking toward the casino,” the report states.

Cherry drove away and was stopped at a traffic light on eastbound Harmon Avenue when Harris pulled in front of him in his Range Rover. A Lucky Cab that was carrying two passengers to the Palms was behind Cherry's Maserati captured what happened next on its dashboard camera. The cab driver gave a statement to police.

According to the cab driver, Harris rolled down his window and began yelling at Cherry.

Harris and Cherry both turned north onto Las Vegas Boulevard before stopping at a red light at the intersection with Bellagio Drive. When the light turned green, Harris cut off Cherry, forcing him to swerve into the next lane.

“As the Range Rover pulled into the path of the Maserati, a horn sounded, and approximately one second later, as the Range Rover was next to the Maserati, a gunshot was fired,” according to the report.

That initial gunshot, Metro Police believe, fatally wounded Cherry, although he was not pronounced dead until he was transported to UMC after the incident. The bullet hit Cherry in his left shoulder, perforated his chest and then struck Walters in the left arm, according to the police report.

After the initial shot, the two cars “sped north on Las Vegas Boulevard.” Two more gunshots could be heard on the cab’s video.

Just as the two vehicles approached Flamingo Road, Cherry attempted to move the Maserati around the rear of the Range Rover, and then three more gunshots were heard.

Just before 4:20 a.m., the Maserati ran a red light at Flamingo Road and collided with the passenger side of a Desert Cab traveling east on Flamingo Road. The cab burst in flames. The impact killed driver Michael Bolden, 62, and passenger Sandra Sutton-Wasmund, 48, a businesswoman from Maple Valley, Wash.

“Cherry accelerated and lost consciousness prior to entering the intersection at Flamingo Road and struck the Desert Cab,” the report said.

Police did not find any weapons or cartridge cases in the Maserati and found no evidence that Cherry or Walters were armed.

Harris was arrested at a Studio City apartment complex by the Los Angeles Police Department and FBI on Thursday. He now faces three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, plus counts for discharging a firearm into a vehicle and discharging a firearm out of a vehicle, according to a criminal complaint filed last week by Clark County prosecutors.

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