Suspect of stabbing 8 people on the Las Vegas Strip will face murder charges

Police are working at the scene where eight people were stabbed on the Las Vegas Strip on Thursday. Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP

LAS VEGAS — A man with a large kitchen knife who terrorized tourists and residents of the Las Vegas Strip in a stabbing attack that left two dead and six injured will be charged with murder, it said Friday the district attorney.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said he intends to file two counts of murder with the use of a deadly weapon and six counts of attempted murder with the use of a deadly weapon against Yoni Barrios, 32 years old. He has not ruled out pursuing a death penalty.

“We will seriously consider it. But it’s so early,” Wolfson told the media after Barrios’ initial court appearance ended in the afternoon.

Barrios, who wore a dark blue jumpsuit and orange hand restraints, was sentenced to detention without bail. A first arrest was scheduled for Tuesday.

He is being held at the Clark County Detention Center.

Two of the victims went to Sunrise Hospital Trauma Center. One was in good condition and another in fair condition on Friday, said Marissa Mussi, a hospital spokeswoman.

The other four went to the University Medical Center. Officials did not immediately return a message asking for their current status.

Police said they began receiving 911 calls about the stabbings around 11:40 a.m. Thursday in front of the casino and Wynn Hotel.

Barrios, who is not a Las Vegas resident, was arrested by Sands security guards and Metropolitan Police officers while running on a sidewalk on the Strip, police said. There were no other suspects involved.

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 who were killed as Brent Allan Hallett, 47, and Maris Mareen Digiovanni, 30, both residents of Las Vegas.

The names of those injured in the attack were not immediately released.

The initial stabbing was unprovoked and on the east sidewalk of Las Vegas Boulevard. The suspect then headed south and stabbed others, Metropolitan Police Deputy Chief James 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” that was allegedly used, LaRochelle said, calling the case a “difficult to understand murder investigation.”

Dewaun Turner, 47, a porter at the District at Resorts World, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal he was walking home when he saw two people dressed as showgirls in red dresses and heels running away from a man with a knife . He saw the man stab both of them, a passing man, then two other women.

“Ten or 15 steps ahead, and I would have been one of the people stabbed,” Turner said.

A witness told Las Vegas TV station KTNV that 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.

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