Driver faces murder charges over Vegas car attack

Holloway's (left) act appeared "intentional" and left behind much carnage (above).
Holloway's act appeared "intentional" and left behind much carnage (above).PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LAS VEGAS • A 24-year-old homeless woman who repeatedly rammed her car into pedestrians in the packed Las Vegas Strip, killing one person and injuring at least 35, was driving while suspended and will be charged with murder.

Lakeisha Holloway, who was living in her car with her three- year-old daughter, gave herself up to officers a short distance from the scene of Sunday night's carnage. She parked her car and told a parking valet to call the emergency line 911, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sheriff Joe Lombardo told a news conference.

Surveillance video from the scene showed that Holloway's act of driving into pedestrians appeared to be "intentional".

"She didn't appear to be distressed due to her actions," Mr Lombardo said, adding that her child was unharmed.

According to an arrest report posted online, Holloway, who was from Oregon state, told detectives she was having a stressful time on Sunday trying to sleep inside her vehicle, when she was told to move by security guards at the properties where she had parked.

Holloway's (above) act appeared "intentional" and left behind much carnage.

The authorities said as her car intentionally and repeatedly smashed into pedestrians at different spots on the busy Strip at about 6.30pm, many witnesses tried to get her to stop, pounding on the windows and opening the doors of the vehicle.

Witness Rabia Qureshi, a tourist from Wisconsin, told the local NBC station KSNV that the car looked like "a bowling ball and the human bodies were like pins".

"You'd think it's a show because you're in Vegas," Ms Qureshi was quoted as saying by NBC News. "But then I saw some people fly in the air."

Mr Lombardo said Holloway, who had no previous criminal record, did not appear to be under the influence of alcohol. "We don't know (what)... caused her to snap or whether it was planned previously," he said, describing her as "stoic" at the time of her arrest.

Clark County District Attorney Steven Wolfson told reporters that additional charges would be filed against Holloway.

"Other charges we are considering are a multitude of counts of attempted murder", in addition to charges of child abuse and leaving the scene of an accident, Mr Wolfson said.

A spokesman for the Oregon Department of Transportation, Ms Sally Ridenour, said Holloway had her driving licence suspended in 2012 for failing to comply with insurance requirements.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 23, 2015, with the headline 'Driver faces murder over Vegas car attack'. Print Edition | Subscribe