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Police identify 24-year-old woman accused of hitting almost 40 people on Vegas Strip

Posted: 8:37 PM, Dec 20, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-21 13:52:27-05
Police identify 24-year-old woman accused of hitting almost 40 people on Vegas Strip

LAS VEGAS – Police have identified the driver who is accused of veering onto a crowded sidewalk several times on the Las Vegas Strip, killing one and injuring almost 40 people in what authorities described as an “intentional” act.

Monday authorities said the 24-year-old suspect is Lakeisha Holloway, who had her 3-year-old child in the car during the crash.

At least one person was killed and 37 others injured near the Paris Las Vegas Hotel on Sunday night, authorities said.

Witnesses said the woman was driving down Las Vegas Boulevard before her car jumped onto the sidewalk and started striking pedestrians.

She allegedly drove the 1996 Oldsmobile sedan onto the sidewalk at different spots and hit more people before barreling down the road.

‘Not an act of terrorism’

Police arrested the driver and she is undergoing tests for alcohol and controlled substances.

A 3-year-old in the car with her was unharmed.

Authorities ruled out terrorism but said an initial investigation showed the driver did it deliberately.

“This was not an act of terrorism,” Brett Zimmerman said, a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department deputy chief. “We are treating this as an intentional act.”

The driver, who is in her 20s, went onto the sidewalk at least three or four times, according to Zimmerman.

Homicide division officials are looking at numerous surveillance videos from the Strip.

She ‘just kept mowing people down’

Antonio Nassar said people scrambled to stop the woman as she drove on the sidewalk.

“The car rolled right in front of me. By the time I looked over to the right, all you could see was (her) driving away, and people were bouncing off the front of the car,” Nassar told CNN affiliate KLAS.

“She rode the sidewalk, she came to a stop at the Paris intersection, people are punching into the window. … She accelerated again and just kept mowing people down.”

Another witness, Sofie Kitteroed, told CNN’s “New Day” that bystanders rushed to the scene to help bleeding victims.

Emergency vehicles were trying to cut through traffic to get there, she said. Convoys of ambulances and police cars gathered at various spots, their lights flashing.

Justin Cochrane said he was having dinner at a patio restaurant when he suddenly saw the car.

It slowed down, turned toward the sidewalk and accelerated, he said.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department urged witnesses to flag down officers at the scene and give them a statement.

A witness described a chaotic scene as people fled.

“Everyone was running … and as I was running, I saw a car up on the sidewalk coming to toward us,” a witness told CNN affiliate KLAS. “I saw a lady, she didn’t seem like she wanted to stop the car, she had both hands on her wheel.”

The witness said people tried to stop the driver.

“I saw men running after her, yelling, ‘stop, stop!’ As she was passing, we saw people running after her. Everyone was so frantic and just running around.”

Ricardo Torres, a reporter with the Review Journal, tweeted several photos and reports that “dozens” of people were in the crowd the vehicle “plowed” into in front of Planet Hollywood.

Heinrich stated earlier there are reports that multiple people were hit by a car on the Las Vegas Strip and that there are also unconfirmed reports of a shooting inside Planet Hollywood, however she stated police sources tell her that no shots have been fired.

Heinrich, citing a police source, also reports the driver who allegedly hit numerous pedestrians is in custody.

Twitter user Brandon Vaccarro tweeted several photos that appear to show the emergency response on the Las Vegas Strip.