The suspect who killed two Las Vegans and severely injured six others in a stabbing spree on late Thursday morning near the Wynn hotel and casino appeared in court on Friday. Yoni Barrios is said to have chosen his targets at random.
Authorities said that before going on the deadly rampage, the 32-year-old suspect asked a group of showgirls at a hotel if they would take a picture with him and his "foot-long kitchen knife." Barrios told the girls that he was a chef and asked if they would take a picture with him and his knife.
He was charged on two counts of open murder with a deadly weapon and six counts of attempted murder with a deadly weapon.
Making Fun of Him
According to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department arrest report, the suspect thought the showgirls were laughing at him and making fun of his clothing, and thus stabbed two of them. The report said that Barrios started running after the attack and later told authorities that he was looking for people to "let the anger out".
He attacked several people outside the hotel, fatally stabbing Brent Hallet, 47, in the back. Maris Mareen DiGiovanni, 30, died from her injuries at UMC Trauma Center. She had been stabbed in the chest.
Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said the victims appeared to be a combination of locals and tourists. Barrios is said to have told the police that he knew none of the victims and was hoping for the police to shoot him. A security guard and police officer took him into custody within a matter of minutes. The police recovered a large kitchen knife from the scene used in the incident.
Detectives said Barrios allegedly confessed to the crime and was sorry. The suspect acknowledged that what he did was wrong and did not have a coherent explanation. The police official said it seems that Barrios "just snapped".
Eye Witness Accounts
One of the surviving victims told the police that he was walking on the Strip with his wife near the Wynn Hotel when he saw a man running toward him with a knife covered in blood. The victim said the suspect uttered "Sorry man", as he stabbed him in the center of his back.
A showgirl who survived the incident said Barrios approached her, DiGiovanni and another showgirl and asked if they would take a picture with him and his knife. "When the woman started to feel uncomfortable and back away, Barrios allegedly charged and stabbed her in the back. She also saw Barrios charge at DiGiovanni," the police said.
Suspect is an Illegal Migrant
Barrios is a migrant from Guatemala. He told the police that he travelled from California two days before the attacks and went to the Strip after he was told by a friend that he couldn't stay at his house. A source from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said Barrios is a Guatemalan national in the United States illegally with a criminal record in California. Police said Barrios had asked a janitor at the hotel to contact immigration authorities so he could go home to Guatemala. He had also told a security guard that he was trying to sell knives so he could make money to get back home.