The woman charged with murder after intentionally plowing into pedestrians on the sidewalk of the Las Vegas Strip, killing one and injuring 37, was homeless and living in her car with her three-year-old daughter, police said.
Lakeisha N. Holloway, 24, of Portland, has been identified as the driver, who had a toddler in the back seat when she allegedly hit pedestrians on two different sections of the sidewalk while heading north on Las Vegas Boulevard near Bellagio Way on Sunday night.
At a press conference at 10am PST on Monday, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said initial charges include murder with use of a deadly weapon as well as multiple counts of attempted murder with a deadly weapon, child abuse or neglect and failure to remain at the scene of an accident.
He said: ‘When a person drives a 2,000-pound-plus motor vehicle intentionally onto a sidewalk, killing and injuring scores of people, that’s murder.’ Holloway is being held without bail at Clark County Jail.
While the motive remains unclear, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said he does not believe the incident was a case of terrorism. However, he said he was not able to absolutely rule out terrorism at this stage due to a lack of information about the suspect.
Holloway told authorities that she had been in Las Vegas for around a week, Lombardo added, and police believe she was living in her vehicle with her daughter.
Earlier on Monday, Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg said Jessica Valenzuela, 32, of Buckeye, Arizona, died in the crash Sunday night. The coroner said the suburban Phoenix woman was visiting Las Vegas with her husband. A cause of death is pending, with an autopsy scheduled for Monday.
The incident took place at around 6.40pm on Sunday in front of the Paris Hotel & Casino and Planet Hollywood, where the 2015 Miss Universe beauty pageant was underway at the time.
On Monday, Zimmerman said Monday that the car was fully on the sidewalk twice, including once when it traveled for 200 feet. He says the car went onto the sidewalk first near a restaurant at the Planet Hollywood hotel-casino and then again at the driveway entrance to the Paris Las Vegas hotel-casino.
This morning, Lombardo revealed the victims of the collisions come from Quebec, Oregon, Colorado, Florida, California and Mexico.
Six of the victims injured who were in critical condition are now stable, and four others have been treated for minor injuries and released, McGrath said.
Four college students from Pacific University, based in Forest Grove, Oregon, were among those hurt. Spokesman Joe Lang says the students are members of the wrestling team and were in Las Vegas to compete in a tournament.
He says the team will not compete in Monday’s tournament.
Earlier, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Lt. Dan McGrath said the susppect was driving a 1996 Oldsmobile that was registered in Oregon and that she had recently moved to the area.
He said she continued to drive east on Flamingo Road in the car and was eventually taken into custody by police and detectives at a nearby hotel. She is currently undergoing sobriety tests for both alcohol and drugs.
McGrath also said the pedestrians were not at fault and were not in the road.
Zimmerman added that a three-year-old child was in the back seat of the car at the time of the crash. Neither the driver not the child were injured.
Zimmerman said police are now reviewing video footage from surveillance cameras.
‘This is a huge tragedy that’s occurred on our Strip,’ Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Lt. Peter Boffelli said at the first press conference on Sunday. ‘We have brought all of our investigative components out… to ensure we have covered all aspects of this investigation.’
Those in a critical condition were treated at University Medical Center, Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center and Spring Valley Hospital.
Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center spokeswoman Stacy Acquista said it has treated 13 people, including nine men and four women. So far, 10 have been treated and released, but three were downgraded from good to fair condition and will remain hospitalized.
The nine patients who remained in a serious condition included an 11-year-old child.
Spring Valley Hospital spokeswoman Gretchen Papez said three people had received care for minor injuries and were being discharged as of 10.50pm.
Source: Daily Mail