By: Lucy Panicacci
On Oct. 6, an assailant went on a fatal stabbing spree in Las Vegas. The attack resulted in two dead and six injured — three of whom were left in critical condition. Within minutes of the attack, police arrested the suspect, whom authorities identified as 32-year-old Yoni Barrios. According to the police, Barrios will be held without bail and he will face two counts of open murder with a deadly weapon and six counts of attempted murder with a deadly weapon.
The attack started around 11:40 AM outside the Las Vegas Wynn Casino. In the detective’s report, the suspect, reportedly dressed in a chef’s uniform, asked to take a picture with some street performers. Barrios proceeded to pull out a large knife from a suitcase, and according to police interviews, the performers felt uncomfortable with his presence before he pulled out the knife.
Barrios told detectives that he stabbed his first victim, 30-year-old Maris Mareen DiGiovanni, after the performers were allegedly laughing at and making fun of Barrios and his clothing. One of the street performers, Anna Westby, however, denies this claim. Westby stated: “There was no – not a single moment where he was provoked. Absolutely no, there was no making fun of anyone. It was a game for him. He had every intention of killing [DiGiovanni] and killing us.”
After attacking DiGiovanni, nearby video surveillance caught Barrios going on to stab seven other people, including the killing of 47-year-old Brent Hallet. During the attack, Barrios told a victim, “sorry, man,” as he stabbed them, said the police report. Westby, who suffered a lung injury, recounted the event to KLAS-TV: “I’m screaming, asking everyone for help. He caught up to me and he stabbed me in the back, and then ran off.”
Following the assault, the Las Vegas Police Captain, Dori Koren, said they recovered the weapon, “a large kitchen knife.” Currently, police continue to investigate to discover the exact motive for the attack. In the arrest report, Barrios reportedly stated he did it to “let the anger out.” Officials believe Barrios acted alone and that the incident was unprovoked. Additionally, police are reassuring tourists and citizens that this attack was an isolated incident.
Deputy Police Chief James LaRochelle told reporters, “We want to extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and to the victims themselves… We’re thinking of them and have them their thoughts.”
(Sources: ABC News, ABC7Chicago, NBC)
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