A man accused of stabbing to death two people – including a Las Vegas showgirl and a 47-year-old man – along with injuring several others is an illegal immigrant with a criminal record, he claimed.
The harrowing mass stabbing on the Las Vegas strip was laid bare in a police arrest report released on Friday.
Yoni Christian Barrios, 32, who is charged with murdering two and attempting to kill six more on Thursday, told detectives that he is a Guatemalan immigrant and that he stabbed eight people so he could ‘let the anger out.’
Maris Mareen Digiovanni, 30, and Brent Allan Hallett, 47, both died after being stabbed in the attack that happened in broad daylight.
Yoni Christian Barrios, 32, who is charged with murdering two and attempting to kill six more on Thursday, told detectives that he is a Guatemalan immigrant and that he stabbed eight people so he could ‘let the anger out’
A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department arrest report first obtained by Channel 8 News said Barrios came from California to Vegas two days earlier and planned to move in with a friend, but when he arrived the friend backed out.
Barrios told detectives he took a bus to the strip, where other passengers made fun of him and he ‘wasn’t treated like a human being.’
According to the report, Barrios asked a janitor at the Wynn Hotel and Casino about job opportunities, then asked the janitor to contact ICE for him so he could return home to Guatemala.
Barrios then asked a security guard at the hotel about selling his knives to pay for his trip home, officers wrote.
The guard told Barrios to ‘jump in front of a train.’
Barrios exited the hotel and it was then that he approached his first victims.
The police report says he told a group of four showgirls that he was a chef. As one woman backed away from him, he allegedly charged at her.
Maris Mareen Digiovanni, 30, was stabbed to death in the broad daylight attack which also claimed the life of Brent Allan Hallett, 47
A fellow showgirl, who was also stabbed in the brutal attack, held Maris in her arms as she died, the woman’s boss said
Detectives, who appear to have interviewed the surviving woman, wrote that she ‘felt pressure to her back and fell to the ground’ then saw Barrios charging towards one of his murder victims Maris Digiovanni.
The survivor ran into the Wynn and only then realized she had been stabbed in the back, the report said.
Barrios allegedly told cops he started running towards groups of people so he could ‘let the anger out.’
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson confirmed in a press conference this afternoon following a minute-long court hearing that he does not think Barrios is a citizen – though he said that will not affect how he will prosecute the case.
Wolfson said his office has not yet decided whether they will pursue the death penalty.
Yoni Barrios, 32, has been charged with two counts of murder and six counts of attempted murder. He appeared in court on Friday afternoon
A victim of the brutal knife attack on Las Vegas strip was rushed away on a stretcher by members of Clark County Fire Department
Six other people, including four showgirls, were injured in the attack.
Barrios, 32, has been charged with two counts of murder and six counts of attempted murder. He appeared in court on Friday afternoon and is being held without bail.
An arrest report stated that Barrios believed that the showgirls were ‘laughing’ at him and making fun of his clothes when he launched his frenzied attack to ‘let the anger out’.
The Guatemalan man had only arrived in Las Vegas from California – where he is believed to have a wife and children – two days earlier to stay with a male friend. He has a criminal history of domestic violence and driving under the influence. Cops are now investigating whether he came to the US legally, a source told ABC.
In Thursday’s attack, Maris died in the arms of her friend who was trying to administer first aid.
‘It just happened so fast, he stabbed Maris in the heart,’ Cheryl Lowthorp told The New York Post.
Maris pictured with her brother Gage DiGiovanni. He paid tribute to his ‘amazing little sister … she touched your lives as she did ours’
Lowthorp, who runs Best Showgirls, added that Barrios was ‘smiling and friendly’ moments before he launched the attack that left two dead.
During the attack, Barrios told a victim ‘sorry man’ as he stabbed him, according to the police report. It added that he did not know any of his victims, and attacked at random, hoping police would shoot him.
Maris’s heartbroken brother paid tribute to his sister last night. The 30-year-old previously worked as a teacher at 9th Bridge School in Las Vegas.
She graduated with a degree in education from Washington State University, and had worked as a preschool-elementary teacher in both Bahrain and Hong Kong.
Lowthorp said she was an ‘exceptional young woman’.
Her brother Gage DiGiovanni wrote: ‘It is with great sadness that we say goodbye and see you later to my amazing little sister. Maris was a victim of the horrific random stabbing of eight people in Las Vegas today.
‘Please pray for our family and her husband. We appreciate the space to grieve in the coming days and know she touched your lives as she did ours.’
One of Maris’s friends took to social media to pay tribute to the ‘kindest soul.’
Emma Leeson wrote about her friend: ‘Absolutely shocked, devastated and heart broken.
‘The most kindest beautiful soul taken way to young, this is so unfair and should never of happened – I can’t wrap my head around any of it.
‘Thank you for all the incredibly fun amazing spontaneous memories and adventures we got to share together.’
Maris’s cousin also remembered the 30-year-old as someone who ‘brought a light to everyone’s life.’
Maris and husband Cole Jordan, pictured on their wedding day
Maris (right) graduated with a degree in education from Washington State University, and had worked as a preschool-elementary teacher in both Bahrain and Hong Kong
The 30-year-old (pictured) had worked as a teacher at 9th Bridge School in Las Vegas
Maris (right) is pictured with her cousin, Ashlei who said the teacher ‘brought a light to everyone’s life’
Ashlei DiGiovanni said: ‘I still can’t believe you’re actually gone. This world can be so evil. You brought a light to everyone’s life who crossed your path.
‘I’m so thankful for the moments I got to have with you. From sunset chasing, to dancing in your kitchen, to nights out to talking about absolutely anything under the sun.
‘You were one of the most open, lighthearted, and easy going people who wanted to make others’ days better. You were my cousin and my best friend. My heart is broken knowing I can’t snap or call you. I love you.’
According to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Barrios is thought to have acted alone and investigators believe that it was an isolated incident.
The attack has prompted safety fears among the strip’s street performers.
Barrios, who does not live in Las Vegas, reportedly had a kitchen knife and told the showgirls he was a chef and wanted to take a photo with them.
Cops swooped on the Venetian resort and the crazed knifeman was arrested with blood coated all over his sleeves
Friends and family members have paid tribute to the beloved woman – who was a Las Vegas resident and previously worked as a teacher in the city
According to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Barrios is thought to have acted alone and investigators believe that it was an isolated incident
When they refused the stabbings started, recounted a woman who said four of the injured showgirls worked for her.
A total of eight were hurt, according to Captain Dori Koren of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police. The remaining three are in a stable condition.
Barrios was arrested ‘very quickly’, said Koren.
Dewaun Turner, 47, who witnessed five of the stabbings, told the Las Vegas Review Journal that he saw two showgirls running and screaming while being chased by the knifeman.
One was on the floor after being stabbed, and the other tried to run off. But the knifeman chased and stabbed her too.
Then, the man stabbed a man who was walking with a woman.
Turner then saw him stab two more women, with one of them seriously injured.
Tourists are among the victims, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo later told the media.
During that press conference Metropolitan Police Department Deputy Chief James LaRochelle said that the suspect started stabbing without provocation.
He said that authorities are in possession of video showing the suspect leaving the original scene and running down Las Vegas Boulevard heading towards Sands Boulevard.
Barrios was held by Sands security guards until the police arrived.
Video shown by officials at a press conference hours after the stabbing showed the suspect fleeing the scene
Pierre Fandrich told 13 Action News he thought he heard showgirls laughing, but they were in fact screaming
Following the stabbing, Geli Woods, the owner of Mystique Showgirls, told KTNV that she always tells her employees to be on their guard while working the strip and arm themselves with pepper spray.
Woods said: ‘My girls walk down that way all the time. We always go down there. That could have been us.’
She added: ‘I have had some of my employees who don’t want to showgirl anymore, and I really don’t blame them because it’s a scary situation.’
Those sentiments were echoed somewhat by Bobi Jo Milstead, the owner of Stardust Starlets.
She told KSNV: ‘Honestly, I’m very shaken up all of the girls are. It’s scary because it can happen to anybody.’
Milstead also said: ‘It’s a hard thing to deal with. I know some girls have pulled out tasers and pepper sprays on people who are just manhandling them. Treating them like their property and they’re not. Yes, they’re out there dressed up, but they don’t belong to the world.’
The suspect, who is now in custody, reportedly had a kitchen knife and told the showgirls he was a chef that wanted to take a photo with them
An area cordoned off outside the Palazzo casino after the stabbing on Las Vegas strip around 11.45am
Horrific videos and pictures shows what appears to be one of the showgirls in a pool of blood outside the resort.
LaRochelle told the media: ‘As you can imagine we have scores of witnesses to continue to get statements from and we have a number of video surveillance we have to get through in the immediate future.’
Describing a short video showed at the press conference, LaRochelle said that the suspect stabbed the showgirls and then headed south and stabbed additional victim.
He was pursued by witnesses prior to his arrest.
Cops swooped on the Venetian resort and the crazed knifeman was arrested with blood coated all over his sleeves.
At least one of the victims was transported to University Medical Center, where loved ones were seen going in in tears.
LaRochelle said in the press conference: ‘We wanted to extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and to the victims themselves.’
He added: ‘This is clearly a very tragic and hard to understand, hard to comprehend murder investigation that deeply impacts our community.’
Maxime Wallace, a tourist from Montreal, said: ‘A man just started stabbing and slashing. Everything happened so fast it was hard to see.’
Pierre Fandrich told 13 Action News he thought he heard showgirls laughing, but they were in fact screaming. When he saw the blood he assumed one of them had fallen from a nearby bridge.
In a separate interview with the Las Vegas Review Journal, Fandrich said through a translator: ‘There was one showgirl on the ground.’
He continued: ‘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.’
Metropolitan Police Department Deputy Chief James LaRochelle told the media that the police were called to the scene around 11:40 am local time
A victim is tended to by first responders in front of the casino where the stabbing took place
‘A man just started stabbing and slashing.’ Maxime Wallace, a tourist from Montreal, said ‘everything happened so fast it was hard to see
Cops swooped on the Venetian resort and the crazed knifeman was arrested with blood coated all over his sleeves
At least one of the victims was transported to University Medical Center, where loved ones were seen going in in tears
People embrace outside of the University Medical Center trauma department on Thursday
Earlier, pictures showed that there were ten officers outside of Wynn casino, potentially looking for a weapon
Earlier, pictures showed that there were ten officers outside of Wynn casino, potentially looking for a weapon.
Multiple casinos in the area reportedly shut down their entrances in the wake of the attack.
Officials were quick to alert the public about the incident but assured the public that there was no ongoing threat.
Hotels in the area remained open but many tourists struggled to navigate the vicinity surrounding the strip due to the various closures.
(Stock photo) Among those injured in the knife attack were showgirls on the Las Vegas strip