LAS VEGAS– An attacker with a large kitchen knife killed two people and injured six others in stabbings along the Las Vegas Strip before being arrested Thursday, police said.
Three people were hospitalized in critical condition and another three were in stable condition, according to Las Vegas police, who said they received 911 calls about the stabbings across from the Wynn casino and hotel around 11:40 a.m.
Yoni Barrios, 32, was booked into the Clark County Detention Center on two counts of murder and six counts of attempted murder, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement.
It was not immediately known if Barrios had an attorney who could speak for him.
Barrios, who does not live in Las Vegas, was arrested by Sands security guards and Metropolitan Police officers while running on a Strip sidewalk, police said.
“This was an isolated case,” Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner James LaRochelle said in a statement. “All evidence indicates that Barrios acted alone and there are no outstanding suspects at this time.”
Police said they are continuing to investigate the motive but do not believe there was an altercation prior to the attacks.
The Clark County Coroner’s Office identified the victims killed as Brent Allan Hallett, 47, and Maris Mareen Digiovanni, 30, both Las Vegas residents.
The names of those wounded in the attack were not immediately released.
The first stabbing was for no reason and on the east sidewalk of Las Vegas Boulevard. The suspect then went south and stabbed others, LaRochelle said.
The man fled and was followed by 911 callers before being taken into custody, authorities said. Police recovered the “large, long-bladed knife” believed to have been used, LaRochelle said, calling the case a “difficult homicide investigation to understand.”
Dewaun Turner, 47, a porter at The District at Resorts World, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that on his way home he saw two people dressed as showgirls in red dresses and heels fleeing a man with a knife. He saw a slip near an escalator to a pedestrian bridge in front of the Wynn Las Vegas. The man stabbed her, jumped up and stabbed the other, then ran south to the palazzo, Turner said. The man with the knife said nothing, he said.
Turner said he then saw the man stab a man who was dating a woman and then stabbed two other women, Turner said.
One of the couples dressed as showgirls was bleeding profusely and made no sound as the other applied pressure to her companion’s wounds, he said.
“Ten or 15 steps ahead and I would have been one of the people who got stabbed,” Turner said.
There were no other suspects in the case and “the Strip is safe,” said Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo.
“Locals and tourists are the victims of this crime,” Lombardo said.
Witnesses told Las Vegas TV stations that some of the victims appeared to be showgirls or street performers taking photos with tourists on the Strip.
The suspect told a woman he was a chef who wanted to take a picture with some of the showgirls with his knife, but he started stabbing people when the group declined the man’s offer, the woman told KTNV.
Jason Adams told KLAS that he witnessed the attack on a showgirl.
“This guy came and ran up and started stabbing this lady in front of me and she was running around the escalators and she was trying to get under the bridge and her friend was trying to help her,” Adams said, adding added that the attack took place very quickly.
Pierre Fandrich, a tourist from Canada, told KTNV that he did not see the stabbing suspect walking down the Strip. But he said he thought he heard “three or four showgirls laughing,” and it turned out they were screams.
Fandrich said he saw “a lot of blood” as a woman ran across a bridge, one prone and another stabbed in the back as she tried to help the fallen woman.
Fandrich also told KTNV that he thought one of the victims fell off the bridge because there was so much blood on the ground.
Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak posted a message on social media that read, “Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this tragedy.”
“At the state level, we will continue to work with law enforcement partners to make resources available on the ground to ensure the Las Vegas Strip remains a safe and welcoming place for all,” Sisolak said.
Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
https://abc13.com/las-vegas-stabbing-suspect-strip-news/12302939/ Las Vegas stabbing: Suspect identified after attacks along the Strip killed 2 and wounded 6 with kitchen knives