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3 dead, several hurt in Las Vegas Strip gun battle

Wrecked cars are seen on Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Avenue as Las Vegas Metro Police investigate a shooting and multi-car accident that left three people dead and at least three injured on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada in the early morning February 21, 2013. (REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus)

LAS VEGAS: The Las Vegas Strip became a scene of deadly violence early Thursday when someone in a Range Rover opened fire on a Maserati at a stoplight, sending it crashing into a taxi that burst into flames, leaving three people dead and at least six injured.

Police were checking with nearby businesses to see whether a previous altercation prompted the car-to-car attack at Las Vegas and Flamingo boulevards, the site of several major casinos, including Bellagio, Caesars Palace and Bally's.

"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 were contacting authorities in three neighboring states about the black Range Rover Sport with tinted windows that fled the scene about 4:30 a.m.

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

Caesars valet Jordan Smith, 24, said he heard the crash and the explosion and ran to the scene where the taxi was in flames.

He said paramedics from the hotel were treating some of the injured.

"What is the genesis of this, when did this all start? We don't know yet," Las Vegas Police Sgt. John Sheahan said.

Sheahan said 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 driver and rear passenger were dead at the scene. The taxi might have been propane-powered.

The incident marked the latest violence on the Strip 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 Saturday in an elevator at The Hotel at Mandalay Bay.

Tourist Jeff Martin, 33, said he was unable to cross the Strip several hours after the incident.

"When you're out at 4 a.m. nothing good's going to happen," he said.

 

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