Las Vegas Strip Shooting Update: Arrest warrant issued for shooting suspect Ammar Harris, police say

This undated photo released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows Ammar Harris. Police said Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 they have a warrant for the 26-year-old ex-convict identified as the prime suspect in a shooting and fiery crash that killed three people last week on the Las Vegas Strip. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Ammar Harris
AP Photo/Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

(CBS/AP) LAS VEGAS - An arrest warrant was issued for the ex-convict identified as the prime suspect in a shooting and fiery crash that killed three people last week on the Las Vegas Strip, police said Monday.

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"We can say with certainty that Ammar Harris is the suspect who fired the fatal shots," Las Vegas police Capt. Chris Jones said at an afternoon news conference.

Harris, 26, faces three murder charges in the Thursday incident that killed the driver of a Maserati and a taxi driver and passenger. Jones said Harris should be considered armed and dangerous.

After the news conference, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said the case was getting top priority from prosecutors and he hoped Harris would turn himself in.

"If Mr. Harris is listening, I would urge him to surrender," Wolfson said.

Wolfson called the case "of the highest importance," and said prosecutors are already working with police on the case. He said the warrant was issued Friday.

Investigators said Harris was driving a black Range Rover SUV when he fired shots into a Maserati before dawn Thursday, killing an aspiring rapper and causing a crash that killed two people when the Maserati slammed into a taxi that exploded in a fireball at the heart of the Strip.

Police said several other people were with Harris in the SUV as it fled the scene of the six-vehicle, chain-reaction crash on Las Vegas Boulevard near the Bellagio, Caesars Palace, Bally's and Flamingo resorts.

Jones and police homicide Lt. Ray Steiber said they were confident that Harris was the only shooter. They didn't say whether police intend to prosecute anyone else in the SUV.

But, "to anyone who is aware of his location or is assisting Ammar Harris in any way, you will be arrested and prosecuted," Jones said. "You may think you're being a friend, but keep in mind Ammar Harris is wanted for the murder of three citizens."

Kenneth Wayne Cherry Jr. was mortally wounded when the dark gray Maserati he was driving was peppered by gunfire from the SUV. Taxi driver Michael Boldon, 62, of Las Vegas, and passenger Sandra Sutton-Wasmund, 48, of Maple Valley, Wash., died in the taxi.

Police say the triple homicide stemmed from an altercation between Cherry and Harris in a valet area of the upscale Aria resort a block south of the crash scene at Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road.

A passenger in the Maserati was wounded in the arm, and four people from four other vehicles were treated for non-life-threatening injuries after the crash.

Police have widened their search to the southeastern U.S., where Harris used to live. Jones said billboard companies in Las Vegas were donating space to advertise the manhunt.

Complete coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting on Crimesider