|Ammar Harris is shown in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department handout photograph released on February 23, 2013.
LAS VEGAS - The prime suspect in the death of an aspiring rapper shot and killed while driving a Maserati on the Las Vegas Strip has a lengthy criminal history with prior arrests on charges including robbery, sexual assault and kidnapping, police said on Monday.
Authorities have identified Ammar Harris, 26, as the man they believe opened fire from behind the wheel of his luxury sport utility vehicle on Kenneth Wayne Cherry Jr., 27, on the heart of the Las Vegas strip.
Cherry, who performed under the name “Kenny Clutch,” was fatally wounded and his sports car veered out of control, colliding with a taxicab in the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road.
Killed in the cab when it exploded into flames were driver Michael Bolden, 62, and a passenger identified in local media reports as Sandi Sutton of Washington state.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police spokesman Officer Jose Hernandez said authorities were still pressing a multi-state manhunt for Harris, who is described as having several distinctive tattoos including a large black-eyed owl on his neck and small heart on his upper right cheek.
Hernandez said the list of Harris’ prior arrests, which also included weapons and pandering charges, included only those in Clark County. It was not immediately clear if any had resulted in convictions.
An apparently brand new black Range Rover sport utility vehicle sporting paper dealer plates that Harris was believed to have been driving at the time of the shooting has been impounded, Hernandez said.
He declined to say where the luxury vehicle was found or if detectives were looking for other suspects in the brazen shooting in the desert resort city. Authorities had said after the shooting that several men were in the Range Rover and that it was not clear how many had fired on Cherry’s silver Maserati.
Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie has said that the shooting may have stemmed from an altercation in the valet area of the Aria Resort and Casino on the Strip.
The dramatic incident occurred less than a mile from where rapper Tupac Shakur was shot in September 1996 while riding in a BMW with Death Row Records co-founder Marion “Suge” Knight after the two men had attended a Mike Tyson boxing match.
Shakur, 25, was hit by gunfire from at least one assailant in a Cadillac while sitting in Knight’s car at the intersection of Flamingo Road and Koval Lane and died six days later at a hospital. His murder remains unsolved.