LAS VEGAS – It took just nine fateful minutes for a dispute at a casino valet stand to escalate into a deadly Las Vegas Strip shooting, crash and fireball.
Nearly every second was captured by video, audio and witness accounts and detailed in a Las Vegas police report made public Friday after a weeklong manhunt led to the arrest of Ammar Harris late Thursday in Los Angeles.
Investigators say Harris, 26, a felon and self-described pimp, exchanged angry words with aspiring rapper Kenneth Wayne Cherry Jr. in the valet area.
The shouting continued as the two men drove in separate cars along Las Vegas Boulevard, with tires squealing and a horn blaring.
Police say it wasn’t long before Harris began shooting, Cherry was mortally wounded, and his Maserati careened into a taxi that exploded in a fireball. In the end, Cherry and two other people were dead, and five others were injured in a spectacular, multi-vehicle crash at one of the most famous neon-lit crossroads in Las Vegas.
Stunned tourists compared the carnage to a Hollywood action film.
The report said it was 4:11 a.m. Feb. 21 when Harris stood for a moment in the valet area of the Aria resort, talking with Cherry, who was in the driver’s seat of the dark gray Maserati.
“What was said specifically, I can’t say,” Las Vegas Police Capt. Chris Jones said Friday. “But it’s clear there was an exchange of words and a dispute that led to this senseless act.”
Police found no gun in the Maserati and no evidence that Cherry had returned fire in the attack that ended just before 4:20 a.m. The SUV disappeared along Las Vegas Boulevard as cab driver Michael Boldon, 62, of Las Vegas, and passenger Sandra Sutton-Wasmund, 48, of Washington state perished in the taxi.
A passenger in the Maserati, Freddy Walters, 26, was shot in the arm, and four people in four other vehicles were hurt, none seriously, in the chain-reaction crashes.
Cherry, 27, was buried Thursday in Oakland, Calif.
Harris remained jailed Friday in Los Angeles and is due for an extradition hearing Monday. In Las Vegas, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson told reporters that he will consider seeking the death penalty.
The incident unfolded after Cherry and Walters arrived at the Aria just before 4 a.m. The friends went into the casino for about three minutes then returned to the car. After Cherry and Harris talked, the Maserati drove away.
Harris and others had spent several hours at a table he reserved at the nightclub Haze, where Morocco-born rapper French Montana performed.
As the Maserati headed toward Las Vegas Boulevard, Harris climbed into the driver’s seat of his black Range Rover SUV with three women inside and followed, wheels squealing as the SUV caught up with the sports car on the Strip.
At a stop light, the Range Rover pulled next to the Maserati, and the taxi driver told police the two drivers exchanged words. A horn sounded as the Range Rover pulled into the path of the Maserati on the boulevard in front of the Bellagio fountains, then close alongside.
Police say Harris leaned across the front-seat passenger in his SUV and fired one gunshot into the driver’s side of the Maserati. The taxi video shows the cars jockeying into several positions approaching Flamingo Road as two other shots are fired, then three more. The intersection was soon filled with flames and crashed cars.