A woman intentionally swerved her car onto a busy sidewalk two or three times Sunday and mowed down people outside a Las Vegas casino, killing one and injuring at least 30 others, police said.
The woman, who had a 3-year-old child in her car, was driving in the northbound lanes of Las Vegas Boulevard near Bellagio Way when she drove up onto the sidewalk about 6.30pm in front of the Paris Hotel & Casino and struck pedestrians.
Lieutenant Peter Boffelli said in total 37 people were taken to hospital. One adult was killed, six were in a critical condition, and 26 injured, the Associated Press reported.
"This is a huge tragedy that has happened on our Strip," Boffelli said.
The crash occurred on a busy stretch of the Las Vegas Strip across from the dancing water fountains of the Bellagio hotel-casino where visitors crowd sidewalks as they was walk from one casino to another.
It also occurred as the Miss Universe pageant was being held nearby at the Planet Hollywood Las Vegas Resort & Casino.
Las Vegas Police Captain Brett Zimmerman said at a news conference late Sunday night that while "terrorism" had been ruled out, the crash appeared to be intentional.
"We know this was not an act of terrorism," he said. "We will comb through that footage to get a detailed idea of what occurred. Right now from what we know, we're looking at it possibly being intentional."
Zimmerman said the women drove onto the sidewalk striking pedestrians, before returning to the street. She is then alleged to have re-positioned her vehicle before driving onto a different section of the sidewalk where she again drove into crowds of people.
Police are still reviewing video from casino-hotel surveillance cameras to ascertain exactly what happened.
The driver of the car and her child passenger were not hurt. The woman is in custody at the Clark County Jail, police said.
Lieutenant Dan McGrath said the woman's 1996 Oldsmobile was not registered to Nevada and she had only recently moved to the area.
After the crash, the vehicle continued to drive east on Flamingo Road before it was found at a hotel, McGrath said, adding that police are still trying to determine if the woman was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Justin Cochrane, a property manager from Santa Barbara, California, said he was having dinner at a sidewalk restaurant outside the Paris Hotel and across the street from the famous Bellagio Fountain when the incident took place.
The car appeared to be going 30 to 40 mph when it first hit the pedestrians on Las Vegas Boulevard, Cochrane said: "It was just massacring people."
The vehicle then went further down the road and backed into another crowd of pedestrians, he claimed.
Cochrane said he couldn't understand why the car went into the crowd a second time. "Why would it slow to go around and then accelerate again?" he said.
Cochrane said he saw children and adults injured and on the ground as the car drove away.
Joel Ortega, 31, of Redlands, California, said he and his wife, Carla, were in Las Vegas for the weekend and found themselves blocked from walking on the sidewalk toward the Paris Hotel & Casino. They could see police investigating about a block away from the scene of the crash.
"At first, I thought it was a movie shoot," Ortega said, "I thought maybe we'd see someone famous."
Clark County Fire Chief Greg Cassell said 70 emergency crew workers were sent to the scene.
The victims of the crash who were in a critical condition are being treated at University Medical Centre, Sunrise Hospital and Medical Centre and Spring Valley Hospital.
Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center spokeswoman Stacy Acquista said 11 adults were in good condition. Danita Cohen, spokeswoman for University Medical Center, said 11 crash victims were brought to its trauma centre. One had since been and three remained in critical condition, she said.
Cohen said the victims' injuries included head injuries, cuts and broken bones. Some of the victims are from Montreal, Canada, and were in need of French translators at University Medical Centre, she said.
Spring Valley Hospital spokeswoman Gretchen Papez said three people had received care for minor injuries and were being discharged.