Las Vegas Strip Shooting Update: Manhunt widens for Ammar Harris, prime suspect in shooting, police say

This photo provided by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows Ammar Harris in a booking photo from a 2012 arrest in Las Vegas. Police have identified Harris as a suspect in a shooting that sent a Maserati into a taxi that exploded, killing three people on Feb. 21, 2013 in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Ammar Harris
AP Photo/Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

(CBS/AP) LAS VEGAS - A manhunt was widened to southeastern U.S. states for ex-convict Ammar Harris, who was identified as the prime suspect in the Las Vegas Strip shooting that killed three people last week, police said Monday.

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Investigators believe 26-year-old Harris was the driver and gunman who fired shots from a black Range Rover SUV into a Maserati, killing an aspiring rapper and causing a crash explosion that killed two people when a taxi exploded in a fireball before dawn Thursday at the heart of the Strip.

"We have him identified," Las Vegas police Capt. Chris Jones said. "Now the focus is on locating and apprehending him. We're getting help all over the place."

Harris sometimes goes by the name Ammar Asim Faruq Harris and he used to live in South Carolina and Georgia. According to public records Harris was convicted in Atlanta in 2005 of marijuana possession and he was arrested in Miami in December 2012 on a reckless driving charge. He was also arrested in June 2010 in Las Vegas on pandering, kidnapping, sex assault and coercion charges stemming from allegations that he was a pimp.

A SWAT team didn't find Harris at his home after the SUV was found parked Saturday in the garage of a gated apartment complex a couple of blocks east of the Strip. The SUV was sought as the getaway vehicle in the shooting and six-vehicle, chain-reaction crash on Las Vegas Boulevard near the Bellagio, Caesars Palace, Bally's and Flamingo resorts.

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 and passenger Sandra Sutton-Wasmund died in the taxi.

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 said 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.

Las Vegas police sought help during the search for the Range Rover from local and federal authorities in Nevada and neighboring states of Arizona, California and Utah. Jones said Harris should be considered armed and dangerous.

Complete coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting on Crimesider