(LAS VEGAS) — A relative of the 24-year-old woman accused of driving a car on a sidewalk and through a crowd on the Las Vegas Strip, killing one and injuring many others, said her cousin’s actions don’t “add up.”
Lakeisha Holloway, believed to be from the Oregon area, has been charged in a criminal complaint with murder with the use of a deadly weapon in connection with Sunday’s crash, which killed a 32-year-old woman and sent over 30 people to the hospital. Holloway was also charged with child abuse, neglect or endangerment and leaving the scene of an accident.
Holloway’s cousin Lashay Hardaway said Holloway would never do something like this on purpose.
“None of it made any sense. It just didn’t add up to who she is,” Hardaway said. “She loved her family, she loved her daughter, she loved god, this was just traumatic for everybody.”
Holloway’s 3-year-old daughter was in the car at the time of the crash, but the child was unharmed, police said.
Once a resident of Portland, Oregon, Holloway, 24, worked for the Forest Service through a program designed to help at-risk youth. Holloway was touted as a case study in resilience, even receiving a role model award in 2012.
Speaking in a video about her experience, she said she “beat the odds” by becoming the first person in her immediate family to graduate high school.
Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center said in a statement, “It’s hard to believe that Lakeisha did this, she was such a great kid while she was a part of our program.”
Holloway had been in Las Vegas for about one week before the crash and was living in a car, officials said on Monday. Holloway said it was her car, but the car was registered to another person in Oregon, officials said.
In an interview with police, Holloway “described a stressful period of time.” She said she was trying to sleep inside the car with her daughter before the crash but “kept getting run off by security of the properties she stopped at,” according to the Las Vegas police arrest report.
Holloway wouldn’t tell police why she drove on the sidewalk, but she did say she remembered a body bouncing off her windshield and breaking it, the arrest report revealed. She drove off after the incident, but police caught up with her and she was detained, Clark County officials said.
Officials say they have ruled out terrorism as a possible motive. They do believe the incident was “an intentional act” based upon the car’s movements. The suspect went up on the sidewalk “two, maybe three times,” according to police.
“The video [of the incident] obviously shows intention,” the sheriff said.
The sheriff said Holloway was very stoic and didn’t appear to be “distressed” from her actions.
Holloway told officers she wasn’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash. Her blood was drawn after she was taken into custody.
The investigation is ongoing, the sheriff said. The court has approved an order to assign a public defender to represent Holloway.
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