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2 dead after passenger strikes woman riding bike in east Las Vegas

Updated October 25, 2020 - 4:14 pm

Two people are dead following a “senseless act” Sunday morning when a passenger in a car stuck his body out of the window and intentionally struck a woman riding her bike in east Las Vegas, police said.

“Senseless is an understatement,” said Metropolitan Police Department homicide Lt. Ray Spencer during a news briefing Sunday afternoon. “There’s no reason behind, that I can tell you, as to why it occurred — other than complete stupidity.”

About 7:30 a.m. Sunday, a minivan with two people inside was traveling down Hollywood Boulevard near Sahara Avenue, and appeared to be racing with a few other cars, Spencer said. The minivan’s passenger stuck his body out of the window, attempted to strike a couple on a walk, and then hit a woman riding her bicycle.

The bicyclist, a woman in her mid-50s, was injured when she fell to the ground, and she died at the scene, Spencer said. The momentum of hitting the woman caused the passenger to fall from the car, skid about 150 feet on the asphalt and hit his head on a streetlight.

He also died at the scene, Spencer said.

Crash investigators responded and called homicide detectives after speaking with witnesses, he said.

“What has made this a homicide investigation is the intentional act of him sticking his body out the window, striking the bicyclist and killing her,” Spencer said.

The minivan fled before police arrived. Spencer said the driver is a suspect in the homicide investigation and could face a murder charge.

Both the man who died and the driver are believed to be men about 18 to 22 years old, he said.

The man out for a walk with his wife on Sunday morning told police he heard an engine “rev up,” saw the car coming toward him and was able to get out of its way. The couple were not injured, Spencer said.

The driver intentionally drove the car close to the pedestrians and the woman on the bicycle, he said.

Police on Sunday afternoon were continuing to investigate at the scene, where no houses with potential surveillance footage are facing the street, Spencer said.

The man and woman who died will be identified by the Clark County coroner’s office after their families have been notified.

Violent weekend

The woman’s death marked the fourth homicide in the Las Vegas Valley over the weekend.

About 3:45 a.m. Saturday, 32-year-old Clarence Martin Jr. allegedly threw his 2-month-old daughter from an apartment balcony, killing her, police said. He then started a fire in the apartment near Eastern Avenue and St. Rose Parkway, and was involved in two hit-and-run crashes before he was arrested at the McCarran International Airport, Spencer said.

About 1:50 p.m. Saturday, the North Las Vegas Police Department received a report of a shooting on the 4500 block of Whelk Place. A man believed to be in his 30s died at University Medical Center from at least one gunshot wound, in what police said “is not believed to be a random act of violence.”

About four hours later, Las Vegas police were called to an apartment complex near Interstate 15 and Eastern Avenue, where police believe a woman in her mid-30s shot and killed her neighbor. Spencer said the two had an ongoing dispute over a barking dog.

Anyone with information about the homicides investigated by Metro can contact police at 702-828-3521. North Las Vegas police can be reached at 702-633-9111. Anonymous tips can be left with Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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