Las Vegas Strip Shooting Update: Police believe hotel altercation sparked deadly attack

The scene after a shoot-out and multi-car crash on the Las Vegas Strip

Last Updated Feb 21, 2013 2:34 PM EST

(CBS/AP) LAS VEGAS - Police believe a deadly car-to-car shooting in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip Thursday morning was prompted by an earlier altercation at a hotel.

The shooting occurred at Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road, the site of several major hotel-casinos, when someone in a black Range Rover opened fire on a Maserati at a stoplight, sending it into a taxi that burst into flames, leaving three people dead and at least six injured.

"This doesn't happen where we come from, not on this scale," said Mark Thompson, who was visiting from Manchester, England, with his wife. "We get stabbings, and gang violence, but this is like something out of a movie. Like `Die Hard' or something."

Police said they were contacting authorities in three neighboring states about the Range Rover Sport with tinted windows and paper dealer ads in place of license plates that fled the scene about 4:30 a.m.

In Southern California, the California Highway Patrol alerted officers in at least three counties to be on the lookout for the Range Rover with custom wheels, authorities said.

Police said the Maserati hit the taxi cab, which went up in flames, and the driver and passenger were killed. The male driver of the Maserati also died, and his passenger was shot.

Las Vegas Police Sgt. John Sheahan said the attack was not a rolling gun battle as previously described. The cars were stopped at a light when at least one person in the Range Rover opened fire. Several people were inside the vehicle.

Six other vehicles were involved in the crash that followed, including the taxi and Maserati. The taxi was affiliated with Desert Cab company, according to general manager Sandy Shaver. He declined to comment further.

The taxi might have been propane-powered.

Sheahan said police have video from traffic cameras at the intersection where the shooting occurred on Thursday.

"We have a lot of pieces to put together to establish a timeline as to why this confrontation occurred," Sheahan said.

More on CrimesiderFebruary 21, 2013 - Las Vegas Strip Shooting Update: Police search for black Range Rover involved in "rolling gun battle"Feb. 21, 2013: Las Vegas Strip Shooting: 'Rolling gun battle' and car crash leave at least 3 dead, police say