Las Vegas Strip stabbings suspect asked for photo with showgirl impersonators before attack, police say

Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 6:10 AM HST|Updated: Oct. 7, 2022 at 11:11 AM HST
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LAS VEGAS (KVVU/Gray News) - The man accused of stabbing eight people on the Las Vegas Strip on Thursday, killing two of them, approached a group of showgirl impersonators, told them he was a chef and asked if they would take a photo with him and his knife, according to police.

Yoni Barrios, 32, made his first court appearance on Friday and was ordered to remain in custody. He will again appear in court on Oct. 11, according to KVVU.

The two victims killed have been identified as 47-year-old Brent Allan Hallet and 30-year-old Maris Mareen Digiovanni. Both were Las Vegas residents.

“I think first, we need to express our condolences to the families of the victims in this tragic event,” Sheriff Joe Lombardo said during a news briefing at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police headquarters.

Barrios is being held in the Clark County Detention Center on two counts of murder and six counts of attempted murder, police said in a statement.

An arrest report from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department stated Barrios told a group of four showgirl impersonators that he was a chef. The report says one of the women felt uncomfortable and began to back away. At that point, the report says Barrios charged at the girl as she started to run away.

The report says she “felt pressure to her back and fell to the ground” then saw Barrios charging toward Digiovanni. The woman said she was able to run into the Wynn, where she realized she had been stabbed. She remained at the Wynn until she was transported to a hospital, police said.

Barrios told police that he “thought the women were laughing at him and making fun of his clothing.” He then ran along the sidewalk, stabbing others and fatally wounding Hallet.

Of the injured victims, one victim was taken into surgery and remains in critical condition. Two victims are in serious condition while the remaining three are reported to be in fair condition.

Police said the victims are both local residents and tourists.

“This is a very tragic and hard to imagine, hard to comprehend murder investigation,” Las Vegas Metropolitan Deputy Chief James LaRochelle said.

According to the Associated Press, the suspect then fled down the Strip, followed by 911 callers, before he was detained by Sands security guards and Metropolitan Police officers.

Police reported the Strip was secure after the attack, but residents and tourists are still left stunned after the attack.

“It’s unimaginable,” said Eric, a visitor from London. “You walk in on a Thursday morning and you lose your life like this.”

Other tourists described what they saw in the aftermath of the attack.

“We were coming out of the Wynn, we saw a lot of police activity. As we were crossing the bridge to the food court, we (saw) someone laying on the ground basically in a puddle of blood,” Eric Quintana, who was visiting from Los Angeles, told KVVU.