Known for its hit shows, spectacular lights, and the place where dreams can come true at the turn of a lever, Las Vegas is a tourist magnet for those looking for a touch of history and a lot of luck. Sadly, on Thursday morning, police responded to a call of a man attacking people with a knife. When officers arrived, the suspect had stabbed a total of eight people, two of them passed away, with three others in critical condition. Taking the suspect into custody, the Las Vegas Police Department charged 32-year-old Yoni Barrios with two counts of murder and six counts of attempted murder. While in custody, authorities admitted to having no motive at the time.

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Sheriff Joseph Lombardo discussed the deadly attack with reporters, identifying the victims who died as both Las Vegas natives. They were Brent Allan Hallett, 47, and Maris Mareen Digiovanni, 30. The older brother of Digiovanni shared the news of his sister’s death on Facebook. He 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 8 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.”

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Believing the suspect was not a local, Las Vegas Deputy Chief James LaRochelle noted that it was hard to understand what led to such an attack. “This is clearly a tragic and hard-to-understand — hard-to-comprehend — murder investigation that deeply impacts our community.”

Among the witnesses who saw the attack was Pierre Fandrich, a visitor from Montreal, Canada. He recalled seeing “a lot of blood on the ground. There was one showgirl on the ground. 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.”

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Another witness, Jason Adams, added, “This guy came, ran up, and started stabbing this lady in front of me, and she ran around the escalators, and she tried to get up under the bridge, and her girlfriend was trying to help her.”

Responding to the news, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced that the state would work with local law enforcement to make sure the Las Vegas strip remains a fun and safe place for all those who visit. “Our hearts are with all those affected by this tragedy. At the State level, we will continue to work with partners in law enforcement to make resources available on the ground and ensure the Las Vegas Strip remains a safe and welcoming place for all to visit.”

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This piece was written by Jeremy Porter on October 7, 2022. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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