LAS VEGAS (HPD) — Las Vegas police have arrested a man suspected of stabbing two people to death and wounding six others along the tourist strip of The Strip. 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 comment on his behalf.
Three people were hospitalized in critical condition and three others were in stable condition, according to Las Vegas police, who said they began receiving 911 calls around 11:40 a.m. Thursday about the stabbings of the other. across the street from the Wynn casino and hotel.
Barrios, who is not a Las Vegas resident, was stopped by Sands Hotel security guards and Metropolitan Police officers while he was running down a sidewalk on The Strip, police said.
“This was an isolated incident,” Metropolitan Police Deputy Chief James LaRochelle said in a statement. “All evidence indicates that Barrios acted alone and there are no other suspects at this time.”
Police said they were still investigating the motive but do not believe there was an altercation before the attacks.
The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the victims as Brent Allan Hallett, 47, and Maris Mareen Digiovanni, 30, both Las Vegas residents. The names of those injured in the attack were not immediately released.
The initial stabbing was unprovoked and occurred on the east sidewalk of Las Vegas Boulevard. The suspect then headed south and stabbed others, LaRochelle said.
The man fled and was followed by people who called 911 before he was taken into custody, authorities added. Police recovered a “large knife with a long blade” that is believed to have been the weapon in the attacks, LaRochelle said, calling the case a “difficult murder investigation to understand.”
There were no other suspects in the case and “The Strip is safe,” Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said.
“Residents and tourists are the victims of this crime,” Lombardo added.
Witnesses told Las Vegas television that some of the victims appeared to be showgirls or street performers who take pictures with tourists in the area.
The suspect told a woman he was a chef and that he wanted to take a picture with his knife and some of the showgirls, but the man started stabbing people when the group refused his offer, the woman told KTNV.
Jason Adams told KLAS that he witnessed the attack on a showgirl. “This guy came and ran and started stabbing this lady in front of me and she ran around the escalator and tried to go under the bridge and her friend was trying to help her,” Adams said, adding that the attack happened. very quickly.
Pierre Fandrich, a tourist from Canada, told KTNV he didn’t see the suspect as he walked down the Strip, but he did say he thought he heard “three or four showgirls laughing” when it turned out they were screaming.
Fandrich said he saw “a lot of blood” after one of the women ran across a bridge, another was on the ground, and one more, who was trying to help the woman on the ground, had a stab wound to her back.
The witness also told the television station that he thought one of the victims had fallen from the bridge due to the amount of blood on the scene.