His real name was Ken Cherry. The 27-year-old was an aspiring rapper from Oakland who lived in Las Vegas, according to his Facebook page. He was killed early Thursday when bullets fired from a black Range Rover peppered his Maserati, authorities said.
His father, Kenneth Cherry Sr., said he’s still struggling to understand what happened.
“I want to make it clear that my son was no gangster or nothing like that,” he told the San Jose Mercury News.
“Right now my heart is breaking,” Pat Sims, Cherry’s aunt, said. “This has really been a tragedy. Kenny was just a delightful kid.”
“I can tell you this … the world has lost a good man,” Sims said. “I’m not saying he didn’t have his faults, but he was very kind, especially to older people. Whatever happened in Vegas, I don’t know about, but he was a very kind soul.”
His attorney, Vicki Greco, told the newspaper Cherry “was into gangsta rap, but that’s not who he was.”
“In my interaction with him, I can tell you that by the way he looked and what he put out there on his videos, he fit a certain stereotype,” Greco said. “But I also can tell you that away from that, he was anything but that kind of stereotype. He was honest. He was loyal. He was very dependable. Sometimes, he’d drop by my office just to say hello. He was a nice, nice kid.”
Authorities said Cherry and the Range Rover had left the Aria resort hotel and were heading north on Las Vegas Boulevard at 4:20 a.m., a time when the casino marquees shine bright but the gambling thoroughfare is largely empty. At Harmon Avenue, occupants of the Range Rover opened fire on Cherry’s Maserati, police said.
The silver-gray sports car, which was struck several times, sped into the intersection at Flamingo Road, ramming a taxi, officials said. The taxi exploded, killing the driver and a passenger. Four other vehicles in the intersection were also involved in the crash and explosion, but police offered no details.
Cherry died later at a hospital.
No arrests have been made.
“This is something you never want to go through,” Cherry’s father, Kenneth Cherry Sr., told KNTV. “This is the hardest thing in my life right now because you never want your children to leave before you leave.”