A man accused of fatally stabbing two people and injuring six others in Las Vegas asked a group of showgirls at a hotel if they would take a picture with him and his foot-long kitchen knife before the deadly rampage, authorities said.
After arriving from California, Yoni Barrios, 32, took a bus Thursday morning to the Wynn hotel and casino on the Strip to inquire about a job, according to investigators. He approached the showgirls, told them he was a chef and asked if they would take a picture with him and his knife.
Barrios thought they were “laughing at him and making fun of his clothing” and allegedly stabbed two, according to a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department arrest report obtained by The Times. Maris Mareen Digiovanni, 30, died from her injuries at UMC Trauma Center.
Barrios started running after the attack and later told authorities that he was looking for people to “let the anger out,” according to the police report. He allegedly attacked several people outside the hotel, fatally stabbing Brent Hallett, 47, in the back.
When the attack was over, a total of eight victims were identified, police said. Seven were taken to hospitals. Hallett was pronounced dead at the scene.
Barrios was arrested a short time later, and the knife was recovered, police said. He was treated at Sunrise Hospital for minor injuries and booked into the Clark County Detention Center on suspicion of two counts of murder with a deadly weapon and six counts of attempted murder with a deadly weapon.
“This was an isolated incident,” Las Vegas Metro Police Deputy Chief James LaRochelle said in a news release Thursday. “All evidence indicates Barrios acted alone, and there are no outstanding suspects at this time.”
Barrios appeared in court Friday afternoon at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, according to reports. The judge has set no bail; Barrios is scheduled to appear Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.
The victims appeared to be a combination of locals and tourists, according to Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo.
A showgirl who survived the attack told police that Barrios approached her, Digiovanni and another showgirl and asked if they would take a picture with him and his knife, according to the police report. When the woman started to feel uncomfortable and backed away, Barrios allegedly charged and stabbed her in the back. She also saw Barrios charge at Digiovanni, police said. The woman managed to escape and get back into the Wynn, where she remained until she was taken to the UMC Trauma Center.
Another stabbing victim said he was walking on the Strip with his wife near the Wynn when he saw Barrios holding a knife and running toward him, according to the police report. The man said Barrios ran past him and said “Sorry man,” before allegedly stabbing him in the back. He screamed for help while his wife applied pressure to his wound.
Barrios traveled from California two days before the attacks and went to the Strip after he was told by a friend he couldn’t stay at his house, according to the police report. Barrios had asked a janitor at the hotel to contact immigration authorities so he could go home to Guatemala. He also told a security guard that he was trying to sell knives so he could make money to get back home, police said.
“We want to extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and to the victims themselves,” LaRochelle said. “This is clearly a very tragic and hard to understand … murder investigation that deeply impacts our community.”