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Police: Suspect in death of aspiring rapper said shooting was an accident

Palms Exterior

Steve Marcus

An exterior view of the Palms on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012.

Updated Monday, May 19, 2014 | 1:43 p.m.

Click to enlarge photo

An image of a flier announcing a Thursday, May 15, 2014, party at the Palms, from the Facebook page of shooting victim Evan Plunkett.

A man accused of killing an aspiring rapper Thursday night at the Palms said the shooting was an accident, according to a Metro Police arrest report.

While running away after the shooting, the suspect, Jim Johnson, told a friend his gun fell to the ground and went off, according to the report.

The shot resulted in the death of Evan Plunkett, 25, of Henderson and sent 50-plus people running from the luxury suite where a rap video was being recorded, police said. Police originally said people were at the suite for a party.

Johnson surrendered to police on Sunday. He was booked at the Clark County Detention Center on a count of murder.

Johnson's lawyer, William Terry, did not immediately return messages seeking comment this morning.

Photos taken by people at the suite showed Johnson at a table with large amounts of marijuana and three handguns — two silver and one black, the report said.

Plunkett, who had been pursuing a rap career as Hollywood Will, and his brother had been in a fight with another man near the suite's pool when the gun fired about 9:20 p.m., the report said.

Johnson ran with a friend down a stairwell to the resort’s valet pickup, where he confessed to the accident, police said.

A few people remained with Plunkett, who was a former Marine and had a young daughter, as he died from the gunshot wound to the chest, the report said.

The man involved in the fight tracked down Metro Police and reported the shooting, the report said. The witness told police that he, the victim and the suspect were all friends.

The Palms is home to some of the most extravagant party suites in Las Vegas, including the 9,000-square-foot Sky Villa where the shooting occurred. It rents for $40,000 a night and is nicknamed the Hugh Hefner Sky Villa after the Playboy founder.

Resort officials said they were cooperating with police on the investigation.

"We are saddened by this unfortunate, isolated incident, and our thoughts are with the victim's friends and family," they said in a statement last week. "The safety and security of our guests and team members are always our number one priority."

Johnson is scheduled to appear in court at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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