Fight Escalates Into Shooting on Las Vegas Strip - 8 News NOW

Edward Lawrence, Reporter

Fight Escalates Into Shooting on Las Vegas Strip

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Metro police believe the people involved in a shooting on the Las Vegas Strip are locals. The incident happened early Sunday morning.

Police say it started as a fight inside Margaritaville at Harrah's. The fight then moved outside. That's when witnesses say someone pulled a gun and started shooting.

This is the fourth violent incident on the Strip to make national headlines in recent months, but tourists keep coming in record numbers.

Meanwhile, Metro police look for the people involved in this latest fight and shooting. They say the suspects live in the valley and are possibly gang members.

Police say it all started around 3:15 a.m. Sunday when two groups of men threw cans at each other on the sidewalk in front of Margaritaville and O'Sheas Casino. It escalated into a fist fight, and that's when someone pulled out a gun and started firing.

Matt, an eyewitness, said, "I thought it was firecrackers going off. I didn't realize somebody was actually getting shot at. It's scary now that you think about it."

Four bystanders were all hit in the leg by bullets. All four will survive. Police say none of the victims were involved in the fight.

Surveillance video captured the fight and shooting and Metro released a photo of a person of interest. They say he is not the shooter but has information police need.

Metro Captain Curtis Williams said, "Regardless of the number of officers that may be there, there is still no predictor as to whether or not you will be able to have somebody at a particular location when a shooting occurs. That would be extremely difficult to say."

The first major incident happened in April when a homemade bomb exploded at the parking garage attached to the Luxor hotel and casino. One person was killed and police arrested two men for the crime.

The second happened in July inside the New York-New York hotel and casino. Four people were shot and police arrested the gunman.

And two weeks ago, a shooting broke out in the garage at Caesars Palace.

So far the incidents have not changed the perception of Las Vegas as a safe tourist destination.  

Toni Jimenez, a tourist, said, "We have been here several times and never encountered anything that I find threatening or a reason not to come here."

Despite these shootings, Metro says the Strip is still one of the safest public gathering places in the world.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is watching the numbers closely to see if there is an impact. At this point in time, they say it has had no affect at all.

So far this year a record 19.6 million people have visited Las Vegas. The occupancy rate on the Strip this year is 91-percent.

E-mail your comments to Reporter Edward Lawrence.

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