LAS VEGAS – The mass stabbing suspect said to be responsible for the deadly rampage in Las Vegas was arrested Thursday night hours after the attack, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said.
Yoni Barrios, 32, was identified as the suspect. LVMPD said the attacker stabbed eight people on Las Vegas Boulevard Thursday morning, Fox News Digital reported.
As a result, Barrios was taken into custody and booked at the Clark County Detention Center on two counts of open murder with a deadly weapon and six counts of attempted murder with a deadly weapon.
Police said the vicious acts began about 11:42 a.m. as they received reports of multiple victims having been sliced in front of a casino on South Las Vegas Boulevard.
Authorities did not immediately disclose details of the arrest other than saying, “Responding officers quickly identified the suspect in the area and he was taken into custody without further incident.”
“This was an isolated incident,” Deputy Chief James LaRochelle said in a statement. “All evidence indicates Barrios acted alone and there are no outstanding suspects at this time.”
— LVMPD (@LVMPD) October 6, 2022
LaRochelle noted the initial stabbing appeared to be “unprovoked” on a sidewalk.
“A total of eight victims were located,” LVMPD said. “One of those victims was pronounced deceased at the scene, and a second victim was pronounced deceased at University Medical Center. The remaining victims were transported to area hospitals.”
“Currently, three of them are in critical condition and the others are stable,” police added.
Detectives recovered a large kitchen knife they believe was the weapon used in the stabbings.
LaRochelle said there are “scores” of witnesses, so police are continuing to investigate the series of violent crimes based upon information that is gathered.
The motive remains unclear at the present time, while police have urged people to avoid the area directly outside the Wynn Hotel.
On Friday morning, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said the victims were tourists and locals. Those killed were identified as Las Vegas residents Brent Allan Hallett, 47, and Maris Mareen Digiovanni, 30, according to the Las Vegas Sun, citing the Clark County Coroner’s Office.
Some of the victims were showgirls taking pictures with tourists, bystanders told Fox 5 Las Vegas and other media outlets.
The suspect was subsequently followed by “concerned citizens” who called 911 for help, LaRochelle said.
At the outset of the investigation, authorities don’t believe Barrios is a local resident, the New York Post reported.
“This is clearly a tragic and hard-to-understand — hard-to-comprehend — murder investigation that deeply impacts our community,” LaRochelle emphasized.
Barios reportedly told a woman he was a chef and wanted to take a picture with some of the showgirls with his knife, but instead began his deadly attack when the group declined his request, the woman told a local news outlet.
A tourist from Montreal, Canada, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he saw “a lot of blood on the ground.”
“There was one showgirl on the ground,” Pierre Fandrich said in French. “There was another showgirl on top of her, trying to help her friend. She seemed to be stabbed in the back, but she didn’t notice because she was helping the other showgirl.”
Video posted to Twitter from the Las Vegas Strip showed paramedics urgently pushing a gurney with one victim on it wearing a red feathered skirt while nearby tourists looked stunned.
— Brett Clarkson (@BrettClarkson_) October 6, 2022
“This guy came, ran up, and started stabbing this lady in front of me and she ran around the escalators and she tried to get up under the bridge and her girlfriend was trying to help her,” witness Jason Adams told KLAS.
Lombardo said the area is safe and law enforcement officials would attempt to reopen it as soon as feasible.
“Our hearts are with all those affected by this tragedy,” Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said in a tweet. “At the State level, we will continue to work with partners in law enforcement to make resources available on the ground and ensure the Las Vegas Strip remains a safe and welcoming place for all to visit.”