LAS VEGAS — The Las Vegas Strip became a scene of deadly violence early Thursday when someone in a black Range Rover opened fire on a Maserati, 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 an unspecified casino resort prompted the car-to-car attack in the heart of the Strip at Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road.
The crossroads is 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 dark tinted windows, distinctive black custom rims and paper dealer ads in place of license plates that fled the scene about 4:20 a.m.
In Southern California, the California Highway Patrol alerted officers in at least three counties to be on the lookout for the SUV.
Las Vegas Police Sgt. John Sheahan said the Range Rover was last seen near the Venetian resort as it headed north from the shooting scene on Las Vegas Boulevard.
Witnesses also told police the SUV and Maserati had come from the nearby CityCenter area, just south of the site of the attack.
We have numerous witnesses to this, Sheahan said. But what is the genesis of this? We don't know yet.
Sheahan said police have video from traffic cameras at the intersection and were checking hotel surveillance systems. The video will not be made public, he 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.
The crumpled, gray sports car, which had no license plates, came to rest several feet away from the incinerated taxi.
The people I feel sorry for are the people in the taxi, said Elvina Joyce, a tourist from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Seconds made all the difference in the world for them. Wrong place, wrong time.
The SUV and Maserati were stopped or approaching a red light when at least one person in the Range Rover opened fire. Several people were inside the SUV, Sheahan sergeant said.