Aspiring rapper among those killed in fiery Vegas Strip shooting, crash

A lawyer describes Kenny Clutch as "a kid who was just trying to hustle and make it."

The Maserati driver who died in a predawn shooting and fiery crash on the Las Vegas Strip that killed two others was an aspiring rapper from Northern California.

The Clark County coroner on Friday confirmed that Kenneth Wayne Cherry Jr. was among those killed. It hadn't been determined whether Cherry died of gunshots or the crash.

Cherry, 27, performed under the name Kenny Clutch and previously lived in Oakland, Calif., relatives said.

Cherry  was shot by someone in a black Range Rover early Thursday morning as he drove on Las Vegas Boulevard. His silver-gray sports car sped into the intersection at Flamingo Road and slammed  into a taxi cab, causing a spectacular explosion. The cab driver and a passenger were also killed.

Cherry's attorney, Vicki Greco, said his death was shocking.

"Out of everyone I know in the rapping industry, there is no way I would have ever, ever expected to find that he was shot on the Las Vegas Strip in such an aggressive manner," Greco told CNN.

"He didn't have a (criminal) record or a history. He was just a good kid trying to make it and be a good father."

Greco told The Oakland Tribune she'd known Cherry for eight years and considered him more of a friend than a client.  She said she had represented Cherry on some traffic tickets.

"He was into gangsta rap, but that's not who he was," Greco said, according to the Tribune. "He was doing it to make a living. He was a kid who was just trying to hustle and make it."

According to MTV, Cherry prominently featured his Maserati in a music video shot in Vegas in which he performed a rendition of Rick Ross' "Stay Schemin."

Related: Search for SUV in deadly Vegas shootings continues

Cherry's aunt, Pat Sims of Oakland, said her nephew, father of two, was a kind soul.

"I can tell you this ... the world has lost a good man," Sims told the Tribune. "I'm not saying he didn't have his faults, but he was very kind, especially to older people."

Sims, 75, told The Associated Press that Cherry grew up in the Berkeley, Calif., and Oakland areas and attended two Catholic high schools there. He moved to Las Vegas in the last couple of years, and was was particularly close with Sims' 106-year-old mother, Sims said.

"I haven't been able to tell her," Sims said of Cherry's death.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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