Police: Hotel altercation sparked Vegas shooting

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 21, 2013 at 12:54 pm •  Published: February 21, 2013

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Las Vegas Strip became a scene of deadly violence early Thursday when someone in a black Range Rover opened fire on a Maserati at a stoplight, sending it crashing into a taxi that burst into flames, leaving three people dead and at least six injured.

Police believe an altercation earlier at a hotel prompted the car-to-car attack in the heart of the Strip at Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road, the site of several major hotel-casinos, including Bellagio, Caesars Palace and Bally's.

"This doesn't happen where we come from, not on this scale," said Mark Thompson, who was visiting from Manchester, England, with his wife. "We get stabbings, and gang violence, but this is like something out of a movie. Like 'Die Hard' or something."

Police said they were contacting authorities in three neighboring states about the Range Rover Sport with tinted windows and paper dealer ads in place of license plates that fled the scene about 4:30 a.m.

In Southern California, the California Highway Patrol alerted officers in at least three counties to be on the lookout for the Range Rover with custom wheels, authorities said.

Police said the Maserati hit the taxi cab, which went up in flames, and the driver and passenger were killed. The male driver of the Maserati also died, and his passenger was shot.

Tourists staying in high-rise hotels around the scene found police tape blocking access to the area around the intersection. Closures were expected to last most of the day, snarling traffic in the tourist corridor.

Jeff Martin, 33, of Columbus, Ohio, said he was unable to cross the Strip several hours after the incident.

"When you're out at 4 a.m. nothing good's going to happen," he said.

Las Vegas Police Sgt. John Sheahan said the attack was not a rolling gun battle as previously described. The cars were stopped at a light when at least one person in the Range Rover opened fire. Several people were inside the vehicle.

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