LAS VEGAS — Sandra Sutton-Wasmund was a Seattle-area small-business woman who spent years dedicated to the local chamber of commerce. Kenny Cherry was an aspiring rapper who moved to Las Vegas to pursue his career. Michael Boldon was a taxi driver who hailed from Michigan and loved fast cars.
Together, their lives ended in violence normally seen only in movies: gunfire, a fiery crash and an explosion early Thursday on the Las Vegas Strip.
As investigators Friday tried to find the gunman in a black Range Rover SUV who triggered the chain of events, families tried to deal with sudden death.
“Sandi was a loving wife, mother, daughter and sister,” Sutton-Wasmund’s family said in statement Friday. “Her innocent and tragic loss will be felt by all of those who knew and loved her and by the community at large.”
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Sutton-Wasmund, 48, of Maple Valley, owned a plumbing company with her husband and served as a Maple Valley-Black Diamond Chamber of Commerce board member from 2004 to 2011, according to the chamber’s website.
The aspiring rapper’s family also grieved. “Right now my heart is breaking,” said Cherry’s great aunt, Patricia Sims, of Oakland, Calif. “This has really been a tragedy. Kenny was just a delightful kid.”
Sims, 75, said Cherry moved to Las Vegas from Northern California, though she didn’t know her nephew was a rapper using the name Kenny Clutch. The 27-year-old, whose full name is Kenneth Wayne Cherry Jr., was driving a Maserati that was peppered by gunfire before it sped through a red light and smashed into Boldon’s taxi.
The taxi exploded, killing Boldon and Sutton-Wasmund, as four other vehicles collided at an intersection overlooked by some of the city’s most famous hotel-casinos.
Police think an argument in the valet area of the Aria resort & casino led to the shooting but declined to give details.
Police said a passenger in the Maserati was wounded in the arm.
Boldon’s sister, Carolyn Jean Trimble, said Boldon, 62, was a father, a grandfather and a car enthusiast. He began driving cabs after moving to Las Vegas about 1½ years ago, she said.