By KEN RITTER
(LAS VEGAS, AP) – Gunshots fired from a black Range Rover on the Las Vegas Strip early Thursday caused a Maserati to crash into a taxi, creating a fireball and killing three people as the SUV sped away.
Initial reports had it as a gunfight between the luxury SUV and the high-end sports car. Investigators don’t think anyone in the Maserati was shooting, said Sgt. John Sheahan.
Police are looking for the distinctive black Range Rover with dark tinted windows and black rims that left the scene after the 4:30 a.m. Thursday crash at the intersection of Flamingo and Las Vegas boulevards. It’s surrounded by some of the most famous casinos on the Strip, including the Bellagio, Caesars Palace and Bally’s.
In all, five vehicles were involved. The Maserati driver, the taxi driver and a passenger in the cab were killed.
The Range Rover has paper dealer plates, although it’s not clear what state they’re from, police said. Authorities are checking with law enforcement agencies in California, Arizona and Utah in their search for clues.
The taxi was affiliated with the Desert Cab company, according to general manager Sandy Shaver. He declined to comment further.
Several people were taken to the hospital, including a passenger from the Maserati. Four were taken to University Medical Center where spokeswoman Danita Cohen said three people were treated and released. One person remained in the hospital whose condition was not released.
The intersection is expected to be closed for hours as officers investigate.
A tourist who witnessed the aftermath of the crash told KLAS-TV the burning taxi looked like a fireball.
It’s the latest in a series of violent actions on the tourist corridor since the beginning of the year. Two people were critically wounded in a shooting at a parking garage Feb. 6, and a tourist was stabbed in an elevator at The Hotel at Mandalay Bay Feb. 16.
A spokesman for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Jeremy Handel, said his organization didn’t immediately have a comment on the incident and deferred to the police unit that patrols the tourism district.