After Strip shooting suspect's arrest, Las Vegas police pledge vigilance
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- High-ranking officials within the Las Vegas Metro Police Department had strong words to share after Ammar Harris' arrest: Crimes of this sort will not be tolerated on the streets of Las Vegas.
"I hope anyone out there watching understands clearly, if you live in this city, if you work in this city, if you visit this city, if you act like this person, we will find you, we will prosecute you and we will send you to prison," said Sheriff Doug Gillespie.
Harris was arrested in a Studio City, California neighborhood at about noon Thursday. He faces three counts of murder after police say he fired a gun on Las Vegas Boulevard early the morning of February 21. Those bullets killed aspiring rapper Kenneth Cherry Jr. and caused a crash that killed cab driver Michael Boldon and his passenger, tourist Sandi Sutton.
The police department held a press conference Thursday afternoon to discuss Harris' arrest, the ongoing investigation and the force's committment to making Las Vegas safer.
Police Captain Chris Jones took the podium after Gillespie, thanking both local police officers and agencies in California for their tireless work in apprehending Harris.
"The credit for today's success goes to our homicide detectives and our homicide detectives, our Las Vegas CAT team that's comprised of Las Vegas Metro Police, Henderson police and the local FBI agents," said Captain Jones. "In addition, it goes to the LAPD and FBI fugitive task force who were able to take Ammar Harris into custody."
"It's because of these partnerships that we were able to bring this to a conclusion as rapidly as we did," said Lt. Ray Steiber, who led the investigation.
Lt. Steiber said Harris was arrested at an apartment complex. Police and federal agents challenged him to come out of the apartment, and he complied.
Looking back at the investigation, Lt. Steiber said detectives believe Harris fled Las Vegas "pretty rapidly" after the investigation. They don't believe there was any relationship between Harris and Cherry prior to the fight that led to the shooting.
Although there were four people including Harris in the Range Rover at the time gunfire broke out, police blame only Harris for the deaths of three people.
"The only shooter involved in this heinous crime was Ammar Harris," said Lt. Steiber.
Lt. Steiber reiterated this remains an ongoing investigation. He said Metro police were not in LA at the time of Harris' arrest, but detectives were sent immediately the area to continue the investigation and work to determine how Harris hid out there.
Harris will be booked on charges at a Los Angeles facility. He could be extradited to Las Vegas in the coming days.
After Sheriff Gillespie, Captain Jones and Lt. Steiber spoke at Thursday's press conference, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson took the podium to make a strong statement.
"Mr. Harris' behavior is like none other that I've seen. I've been in this community and in law enforcement for 32 years. I can't imagine anything much more serious than firing a weapon from a moving vehicle into another moving vehicle on a corner such as Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo.
"That is reckless. It disregards human life. There are certain consequences when you engage in that kind of behavior," DA Wolfson said. "Thank God only only three people lost their lives. There were other people injured. It could have been worse."