|Vegas Shooting Launches Manhunt|
|By COLLEEN CURRY and CHRISTINA NG (@ChristinaNg27)||Feb 21, 2013, 10:30 AM|
An argument in the valet area of a Las Vegas hotel led to a deadly drive-by shooting on the occupants of a Maserati on Vegas' glitzy strip, initiating a multi-state manhunt for the black Range Rover from which the shots were fired.
Three people were left dead in the attack, including two who died when their taxi was struck by the careening sports car and exploded into flames.
"What happened is not just tragic, but underscores the level of violence we see sometimes here in Las Vegas as well as across America," Las Vegas Metropolitan Sheriff Doug Gillespie said at a news conference today. "Clearly, the suspects in this shooting have no regard for the lives and safety of others."
The altercation took place in the valet area of the Aria resort and casino. Gillespie said there is currently "no indication" what the squabble was about.
Gillespie said that authorities do not know how many people are in the SUV, but that they are considered armed and dangerous. He warned members of the public to stay away from it.
"You should not take action," he said. "Instead, call your local police department and alert them to the whereabouts of the suspect vehicle."
Authorities in Nevada, Utah, Arizona and California are all on alert for the car.
"These individuals will be found," Gillespie said. "They will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law."
The Range Rover SUV shot at two people in the Maserati, which caused a multi-car crash. Police have not released the model of the Maserati, but the price of a new Maserati ranges from $123,000 to $142,000.
Police said that they believe a group of men riding in a black Range Rover Sport SUV pulled up alongside the Maserati around 4:20 a.m. today and fired shots into the car, striking the driver and passenger, according to Officer Jose Hernandez of the Las Vegas Metropolitan police department.
The Maserati then swerved through an intersection, hitting at least four other cars. One car that was struck, a taxi with a driver and passenger in it, caught on fire and burst into flames, trapping both occupants, Hernandez said.
The SUV then fled the scene, according to cops.
Gillespie said investigators are in the process of gathering video footage from hotels, casinos and the taxi cabs that were at the intersection.
The driver of the Maserati died from his gunshot wounds at University Medical Center shortly after the shooting, according to Sgt. John Sheahan.
The driver and passenger of the taxi both died in the car fire.
At least three individuals, including the passenger of the Maserati, were injured during the shooting and car crashes and taken to UMC hospital for treatment.
Authorities said the Maserati passenger, identified only as a man, sustained only a minor injury to his arm. He is speaking to and cooperating with police.
They do not yet know whether the cars had local plates or were from out of state.
No bystanders were hit by gunfire, Hernandez said.
"We're currently looking for a black Range Rover Sport, with large black rims and some sort of dealership advertising or advertisement plates," Hernandez said. "This is an armed and dangerous vehicle."
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority had no immediate comment about the safety of tourists in the wake of the shooting today.