A suspected illegal alien from Guatemala was arrested on Thursday morning, after a violent stabbing attack left two people dead and at least six others injured on the Las Vegas Strip.
Las Vegas police charged Yoni Barrios, 32, with two counts of open murder with a deadly weapon and six counts of attempted murder.
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.
Three of the six surviving victims were in critical condition, police said.
The attack began around 11:42 a.m. local time on South Las Vegas Boulevard, near the Wynn Las Vegas and the Resorts World Casino, both major resorts in the city.
Some of the victims were showgirls taking pictures with tourists, bystanders told Fox 5 and other news outlets.
The suspect allegedly stabbed his first victim in what appeared to be an unprovoked attack before fleeing and stabbing more victims, Las Vegas Deputy Chief James LaRochelle said.
The suspect was followed by “concerned citizens” who called 911 for help, LaRochelle said.
“This is clearly a tragic and hard-to-understand — hard-to-comprehend — murder investigation that deeply impacts our community,” LaRochelle said.
The suspect 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 KTNV.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.”
According to ABC News, Barrios is believed to be from Guatemala and had traveled through Mexico and was in California prior to arriving in Las Vegas, according to the law enforcement source. Authorities are investigating whether he was in the U.S. legally, the source said.