(Deletes 7th paragraph to remove reference to photos released by the Las Vegas police department. Reuters could not confirm the identity of the woman shown in two photos.)
By Dan Whitcomb
Feb 26 Police identified a 22-year-old woman on Tuesday as a "person of interest" in the slaying of an aspiring rapper who was shot and killed while driving his Maserati on the Las Vegas strip and for the deaths of two more people in a fiery crash that followed.
Las Vegas police said Tineesha Lashun Howard was riding in a black Range Rover with prime suspect Ammar Harris when he opened fire early on the Maserati being driven by 27-year-old Kenneth Wayne Cherry Jr. before dawn on Thursday.
Cherry, who performed under the name "Kenny Clutch", was mortally wounded and his silver sports car veered out of control, colliding with a taxicab in an intersection at the heart of the strip.
Harris, 26, has been the subject of a multi-state manhunt since the incident and police say he has a long criminal history that includes arrests for robbery, sexual assault, kidnapping, pandering and soliciting prostitution.
He is described as having several distinctive tattoos, including a large black-eyed owl on his neck and small heart on his upper right cheek.
Police officials described Howard as a "missing and possibly endangered individual" from the Miami area, without elaborating.
The Range Rover used in the shooting, which bore paper dealer plates, has been impounded by police, but officials have not said where they found the luxury sport utility vehicle.
Earlier on Tuesday, Las Vegas taxicab companies pledged $35,000 toward a reward fund for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Harris.
Authorities say the shooting may have stemmed from a verbal altercation in the valet area of the Aria Resort and Casino a few blocks away on the Strip.
The incident took place less than a mile from where rapper Tupac Shakur was shot in September 1996 while riding in a BMW with Death Row Records co-founder Marion "Suge" Knight after the two men had attended a Mike Tyson boxing match.
Shakur, 25, was hit by gunfire from at least one assailant in a Cadillac while sitting in Knight's car at the intersection of Flamingo Road and Koval Lane and died six days later at a hospital. His murder remains unsolved. (Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Bernard Orr)