Two people were killed and six others injured in a stabbing rampage that took place on the Las Vegas Strip around 11:40 a.m. on Thursday. The suspect arrested in connection with the stabbings is 32-year-old Yoni Barrios. He was booked into the Clark County Detention Center and charged with two counts of open murder with a deadly weapon and six counts of attempted murder with a deadly weapon.
Brandishing a large kitchen knife, the suspect began his brutal attack outside the Wynn Casino in the 3100 block of South Las Vegas Boulevard. The attacks were unprovoked.
Although Barrios first allegedly began stabbing on the sidewalk, he proceeded south down the street and stabbed several more victims. Ultimately, he fled as concerned citizens began to chase him down.
Within minutes of the stabbings, the LVMPD apprehended the suspect with the help of Sands security guards. According to KTNV, police arrested him in front of the Venetian and observed that his sleeves were covered in blood.
Th suspect stabbed eight people, two of whom died. One was pronounced dead on the scene and the other perished later at University Medical Center.
The deceased victims have been identified: 47-year-old Brent Allan Hallett and 30-year-old Maris Mareen DiGiovanni. DiGiovanni, who leaves behind a husband, worked as a teacher at 9th Bridge School in Las Vegas.
Three of the other stabbing victims are reportedly in critical condition.
LVMPD Deputy Chief James LaRochelle stated that this “was an isolated incident. … All evidence indicates Barrios acted alone and there are no outstanding suspects at this time.”
The Review-Journal noted that Barrios is not a Las Vegas resident.
One witness told KTNV that the suspect had approached a number of Las Vegas showgirls holding a large knife, which he allegedly explained away, claiming himself to be a chef. He then reportedly asked the women to pose for a photo with him. The witnessed indicated that when the victims refused, the suspect began stabbing them.
The LVMPD indicated on Thursday that the suspect’s motive is unknown.
Another witness, Pierre Fandrich of Montreal, Canada, reported seeing “a lot of blood” and that he initially mistook the terrified shrieks and cries of the victims for laughter.
Fandrich said that one woman, who appeared to have been stabbed in the back, helped another victim who was on the ground. Another bystander reportedly aided in efforts to resuscitate the woman until first responders arrived.
One tourist from London told KVVU that one victim took off his shirt and tried using it to staunch his bleeding before collapsing at the base of an escalator.
The City of Las Vegas has responded to the accident by beefing up its police presence on the Strip.