Racially-charged comments led to Strip killing, police say - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Racially-charged comments led to Strip killing, police say

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A Florida man charged with killing a fellow tourist on the Las Vegas Strip told police he was angered over racially-charged comments made by the victim.

That's according to the arrest report for 37-year-old Benjamin Hawkins, who was arrested Wednesday morning at the O'Sheas casino.

The victim, identified by police as John Massie, made a comment about a "black man in a yellow shirt" when he saw Hawkins in the casino restroom, Hawkins said in the report.

When the two met again outside of the restroom, Massie "put his hands in his pockets and said something to Hawkins," according to police.

Hawkins told police he said something to Massie and then turned to walk away.

At that point, police said Hawkins turned back around and punched Massie in the left side of his face.

Massie fell flat on his back and didn't move. He was pronounced dead a short time later at Desert Springs Hospital.

Hawkins said he feared Massie would hit him after he turned away, "so he punched Massie one time in the jaw," according to the report.

Hawkins is being on a charge of murder at the Clark County Detention Center.

Wednesday's killing came two days after a man was stabbed to death during a fight near the intersection of the Strip and Harmon Avenue.

A man was also fatally stabbed June 25 on a pedestrian bridge between the New York-New York and MGM Grand resorts.

The violence is raising questions about safety on the Strip. FOX5 wants to know what you think.

Take our poll and send your comments to Facebook and The RANT. You can heard the responses weeknights on FOX5 News at 10.

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