Four shot after brawl on the Strip


Four bystanders were hit by gunfire on the Strip early Sunday morning, after a brawl involving about 20 men erupted outside a restaurant near Flamingo Road, Las Vegas police said.

The victims, all in their mid-20s, included at least one tourist, police said. No one was seriously wounded and by Sunday afternoon all of the victims, except the female tourist, who is from California, had been released from local hospitals.

The fight started about 3:15 a.m. on the sidewalk in front of Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Cafe, when two men bumped into each other, police said. Two groups of men, totaling about 20, began arguing and soon started throwing bottles, cans and punches, police said.

"Witnesses described it as a miniriot," said officer Ramon Denby, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Department.

During the fight, one of the men pulled out a gun and began firing toward O'Shea's, a casino next door to Margaritaville, police said.

The gunfire struck four bystanders in the legs. After the shooting, dozens of people, including the four shooting victims, took shelter inside O'Shea's, police said.

Police were on the scene within seconds of the shooting, but by the time they arrived the men involved had fled, Denby said.

Police were reviewing surveillance footage of the fight late Sunday but hadn't yet identified the shooter. Denby said the gunman is between 17 and 21 years old, thin, and was wearing a baggy, white T-shirt and baggy pants. Police didn't know if the shooter or the men involved in the melee are local residents or tourists.

According to the Flamingo Las Vegas, which owns O'Shea's and is a part owner of Margaritaville, the suspects and victims weren't guests at their hotels.

The shooting was the third on the Strip in about a month and a half, but it didn't dampen the spirits of people at Margaritaville on Sunday afternoon.

The bar was filled shoulder to shoulder with people socializing. Others, drinks in hand, mingled on a walkway in front of the bar and restaurant.

Most people interviewed Sunday afternoon didn't know a shooting had occurred hours earlier. "We live in L.A.; L.A. is just as bad, if not worse," said Tim Moore, 24, who was spending a few days in Las Vegas.

Dave Bradley, a 47-year-old a firefighter from Kansas City, Mo., also said he wasn't frightened by news of the shooting. When asked if it would affect his vacation, he replied: "I wasn't shot. I'm good."

On July 6, 51-year-old Steven Zegrean opened fire from a second-floor mezzanine inside the New York-New York, wounding four people, none fatally.

Bystanders tackled Zegrean, ending his shooting spree.

Zegrean told police he was depressed about losing his job and had hoped police would shoot and kill him. He faces multiple charges, including attempted murder with a deadly weapon and battery with a deadly weapon.

On Aug. 4, 34-year-old Richard Earl Shepherd opened fire inside Caesars Palace after fighting with a man he believed had been disrespectful to his sister. Shepherd wounded two bystanders, police said.

Shepherd turned himself in after the shooting. He faces multiple charges, including attempted murder with a deadly weapon, battery and assault.

Denby said police have almost tripled their numbers on the Strip recently. It was unclear if that is in response to the recent shootings.

 

Rules for posting comments

Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Stephens Media LLC or this newspaper. This is a public forum. Read our guidelines for posting. If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon next to the comment.