Oakland rapper 'Kenny Clutch' killed in Las Vegas Strip shooting
One of the victims in a spectacular predawn shooting and crash on the Las Vegas Strip has been identified as Kenneth Cherry Jr., an aspiring rapper known as Kenny Clutch.
His attorney, Vicki Greco, said his death was shocking.
"Out of everyone I know in the rapping industry, there is no way I would have ever, ever expected to find that he was shot on the Las Vegas Strip in such an aggressive manner," Greco said.
"He didn't have a [criminal] record or a history. He was just a good kid trying to make it and be a good father." Cherry had two children, she said.
According to his Facebook page, Cherry is from Oakland and lived in Las Vegas.
He died early Thursday morning when bullets fired from a black Range Rover peppered his Maserati, authorities said.
They said Cherry and the occupants of the Range Rover had left the Aria resort hotel and were heading north on Las Vegas Boulevard at 4:20 a.m., an hour when the casino marquees shine brightly but the gambling thoroughfare is largely empty. At Harmon Avenue, occupants inside the Range Rover opened fire on the Maserati, police said.
The silver-gray sports car, which was struck several times, sped into the intersection at Flamingo Road, ramming a Yellow cab, officials said. The taxi exploded, killing the driver and a passenger. Four other vehicles in the intersection were also involved in the crash and explosion, but police offered no details.
Cherry died later at a hospital.
Police had more questions than answers.
"It began with a dispute at a nearby hotel and spilled onto the streets," said Capt. Chris Jones of the Las Vegas Police Robbery and Homicide Division.
Cherry's aunt, Pat Sims of Oakland, told the Oakland Tribune that her nephew was a kind soul.
"I can tell you this ... the world has lost a good man," Sims said. "I'm not saying he didn't have his faults, but he was very kind, especially to older people. Whatever happened in Vegas, I don't know about, but he was a very kind soul."
The newspaper reported that Cherry had several arrests in Oakland and Berkeley, many for gun charges. He was convicted on a gun charge in 2007, stemming from an arrest in Berkeley, sources told the Tribune, although details on that conviction weren't immediately available.
In 1996, rapper Tupac Shakur was shot and killed two blocks from Thursday's accident scene, at the intersection of Flamingo Boulevard and Koval Lane, as he rode in a car driven by Death Row Records Chairman Marion "Suge" Knight.
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-- John Glionna and KTLA News
Photo: Kenny Clutch. Credit: KTLA