LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – The man accused of stabbing eight people on the Las Vegas Strip, killing two, had asked a group of showgirls to take a photo with a foot-long kitchen knife he was trying to sell before stabbing them, documents obtained by Nexstar’s KLAS said Friday.
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Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said he intends to file two counts of murder with the use of a deadly weapon and six counts of attempted murder with the use of a deadly weapon against Yoni Barrios, 32. He did not rule out pursuing a death penalty.
“We are going to give it serious consideration. But it’s so early on,” Wolfson told media outlets after Barrios’ afternoon initial court appearance ended Friday.
Yoni Barrios, 32, had traveled to Las Vegas from California earlier this week, police said. He arrived on the Las Vegas Strip by bus around 8 a.m. Thursday. He told police he went there after being told he could not stay at a friend’s house, police said.
Barrios told police he was trying to sell his knives so he could go back home, according to the arrest report.
According to the arrest report, Barrios went to the Wynn casino to ask about job opportunities as a janitor. He told police he even asked the janitor to contact U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, so he could return to Guatemala.
Barrios then left the Wynn and approached a group of showgirls near the main entrance to the casino on Las Vegas Boulevard shortly before 11:40 a.m., officials say.
Barrios told the group of showgirls he was a chef, according to the document. One of the showgirls told the police that Barrios asked to take a picture with the group with his knife. He thought the women were laughing at him and making fun of his clothing and he said it made him angry and he “stabbed one of the women in the chest,” the report stated.
Maris Mareen DiGiovanni, who was in the group, died at the hospital. Another woman in the group, who attempted to help Digiovanni, was stabbed in the back.
After the stabbing involving the group, Barrios ran off, stabbing six others, including Brent Allan Hallett, as he ran along the sidewalk from Las Vegas Boulevard to Sands Avenue where he threw the bloody knife in some bushes, police said.
Dewaun Turner, 47, a porter at The District at Resorts World, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he was walking home when he saw two people dressed as showgirls in red dresses and heels fleeing from a man with a knife. He saw the man stab both of them, a man walking by and then two more women.
“Ten or 15 steps ahead, and I would’ve been one of the people stabbed,” Turner said.
The coroner’s office identified Hallett, 47, and Digiovanni, 30, both of Las Vegas, as the two people who died in the attack. Six others were injured.
After he was taken into custody, Barrios told police he “was hoping officers would shoot him,” according to the arrest report.
Barrios was booked into 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. He has been ordered to remain in custody until his next court date, currently scheduled for Oct. 11.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.