Rapper Kenny Clutch was shot and killed on the Las Vegas Strip Thursday night. Gunmen in a black Range Rover opened fire while at a stoplight. Clutch then accelerated into the intersection, hitting a taxicab. Both the taxi driver Michael Boldon and his passenger died after the taxi burst into flames. Three other passengers are being treated for injuries.
Police say the shooting was the result of an argument Clutch had earlier in evening at the Aria Resort and Casino. Gunfire broke out in the valet area at 4:20 am. The Range Rover fled the scene, but police say they have footage of the incident from traffic cameras. A manhunt across Nevada, Utah, California, and Arizona is underway to find the suspects in the black SUV.
Clutch, born Kenneth Cherry, was driving his Maserati, the same car in which he rapped about keeping a gun in.
“Maserati. Paid 120 for it. Stash box ‘cuz you know I got that semi for it,” he said in one of his songs.
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Police have not said whether he was armed that night. They did say neither Cherry nor his passenger fired any shots. Clutch, 27, was in the infancy of his rap career. Clutch died just two blocks away from the site where Tupac Shakur was gunned down on the Las Vegas Strip in 1992.
“Clearly, the suspects in this shooting have no regard for the lives and safety of others,” said Las Vegas Metropolitan Sheriff Doug Gillespie. One witness described the scene as being like something out of an action film.
This incident marks the fifth violent crime on the Strip since December and police are now trying to reassure citizens and visitors.
“I have been asked by many of you this morning, ‘Is the Las Vegas strip safe?’” Gillespie said. “Yes, it is.” Such incidents are tarnishing efforts to make Sin City a more family-friendly town.
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“This doesn't happen where we come from, not on this scale,” said British tourist Mark Thompson of Manchester who witnessed the scene, “We get stabbings and gang violence, but this is like something out of a movie. Like Die Hard or something.”