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Vegas strip shooting suspect allegedly exchanged words with victim

March 4, 2013 | 12:41 pm

The man suspected of killing three people on the Las Vegas Strip when he shot Oakland rapper Kenneth Cherry Jr. as the singer drove in his Maserati in the pre-dawn hours had twice exchanged words with the musician.

Ammar Harris, 26, a self-described pimp who was arrested in Studio City last week, was captured on video confronting Cherry at the Aria Casino valet stand and again, moments later, yelling at the rapper as they drove in separate cars along the Strip, according to an arrest warrant.

Harris appeared in court Monday and was ordered held for 10 days while Las Vegas authorities produce evidence identifying him as the suspected killer. An extradition hearing would follow.

PHOTOS: Shots fired on the Las Vegas strip

Las Vegas Metro police used videos from casinos, a dashboard taxi camera and interviews to reconstruct the movements of Harris and Cherry before the Feb. 21 shooting, the document said.

Harris, 26, arrived at the Aria in a black Range Rover around 1:30 a.m with a woman and went into the Haze Nightclub, where Harris had reserved a table.

Shortly before 4 a.m., Harris left the club at about the same time that Cherry, 27, was leaving the casino lobby. Cherry and a passenger, Freddy Walters, got into the Maserati.

Interactive map: Shooting in Las Vegas

Harris walked over to the Maserati, approached the driver’s door and “remained there for a second or two before walking toward the casino,” according to the warrant.

Cherry drove off and Harris quickly followed, pulling in front of him in his Range Rover, the warrant said.

A dash cam in a passing Lucky Cab recorded the two cars, and the taxi driver later told detectives that Harris had rolled down his window and yelled at the Maserati driver.

Harris and Cherry turned north onto Las Vegas Boulevard and stopped at a red light at the Bellagio Drive intersection. As the light turned green, Harris cut off Cherry, forcing the rapper to swerve into the other lane, the document said.

“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 arrest warrant.

Detectives believe the shot struck Cherry in the chest after passing through his arm. The Maserati then ran a red light at Flamingo Road as Cherry apparently lost consciousness and crashed into the  passenger side of a Desert Cab traveling east on Flamingo, the document said.

The impact caused the cab to burst into flames, killing the driver and a passenger.

Harris fled the scene, leaving behind several other motorists injured in the crash, authorities said.

Harris was arrested on Thursday at a Studio City apartment. He had already been charged, in absentia, with  murder, attempted murder, discharging a firearm out of a vehicle and firing a weapon into a vehicle.

"I cannot imagine anything more serious than firing a weapon from a moving vehicle into a moving vehicle on a corner such as Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo," said Clark County Dist. Atty. Steve Wolfson.

ALSO:

Las Vegas shooting suspect to appear in L.A. court Monday

Hospital bomb scare prompts evacuation of ER; man in custody

Outpouring of grief for boy found dead at La Cañada High School

--Richard Winton

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