Rapper Kenny Clutch dead after Las Vegas shooting

Rapper Kenny Clutch dead after Las Vegas shooting

Rapper Kenny Clutch dead after Las Vegas shooting

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by Abcnews.com

WHAS11.com

Posted on February 22, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 22 at 10:49 AM

LAS VEGAS -- Rapper Kenny Clutch has been identified by Las Vegas police as the man killed in a drive-by shooting on the Vegas strip, which set off a multi-state manhunt for the black Range Rover from which the shots were fired.

Clutch, whose real name is Kenneth Cherry Jr., was the victim of the Thursday morning shooting in the valet area of the Aria Resort and Casino. Three people were left dead and three injured in the attack, including two who died when their taxi was struck by the careening sports car and exploded into flames.

"Clearly, the suspects in this shooting have no regard for the lives and safety of others," Las Vegas Metropolitan Sheriff Doug Gillespie said at a news conference Thursday.

Gillespie said authorities do not know how many people are in the SUV, but that they are considered armed and dangerous.

Police said they believe a group of men riding in a black Range Rover Sport SUV pulled up alongside the Maserati around 4:20 a.m. Thursday and fired shots into the car, striking the driver and passenger, according to Officer Jose Hernandez of the Las Vegas Metropolitan police department.

One passenger in the Maserati was hit and sustained only a minor injury to his arm. Clutch, 27, who was driving, died at University Medical Center, police said. No bystanders were hit by gunfire, Hernandez said.

The Maserati swerved into oncoming traffic and hit multiple cars before slamming into a cab, which burst into flames and exploded, police said. The cab driver and passenger both died.

"I looked out my window and I could see one vehicle down here on the corner of the intersection totally engulfed in flames," witness John Lamb told ABC News.

Police say they believe the shooting began as an argument moments earlier at a nearby casino. A multi-state manhunt is on for the unidentified shooter.

"These individuals will be found, they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," Gillespie said.

Authorities in Nevada, Utah, Arizona and California are all on alert for the black Range Rover.

Police in Las Vegas are now trying to calm nerves, with Thursday's shooting marking" the fifth violent incident reported on the popular Vegas strip since December. Some worry the recent rash of crimes is hurting the city's efforts to create a less sinful, and more family friendly, image of Vegas.

I have been asked by many of you this morning, 'Is the Las Vegas strip safe?'" Gillespie said. "Yes, it is."

Clutch's father expressed his grief for the loss of his son while speaking with ABC News.

"This is something you never really, really ever want to experience as a parent, to lose a child before you go," he said.

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