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Suspect in custody after 2 dead and 6 injured in stabbing attack on Las Vegas Strip

A man wielding a knife with a long blade stabbed eight people, two of them fatally, in an unprovoked rampage on Thursday along the casino-lined Las Vegas Strip, and was arrested a short time later, local authorities said.

Las Vegas police charged alleged stabbing suspect Yoni Barrios, 32, with two counts of open murder with a deadly weapon and six counts of attempted murder. The motive for the crazed attack is unknown.

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.

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Yoni Barrios has been arrested on murder charges

Three of the six surviving victims were in critical condition, police said.

The older brother of Maris Digiovanni, broke the news of his sister’s death to family and friends on Facebook.

Earlier at the scene, Lombardo said a kitchen knife was recovered at the scene.

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.

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Las Vegas stabbing
30-year-old Maris Mareen Digiovanni has been confirmed as one of the victims of the attack.

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” that called 911 for help, LaRochelle said.

The alleged perp gave police his identity, LaRochelle said, but officers are working to confirm that information. Authorities don’t believe he was a local resident.

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“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.”

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Las Vegas stabbing
Las Vegas police are investigating the stabbing of at least six people on the Las Vegas Strip on Oct. 6.

Video posted to Twitter from the Las Vegas strip showed paramedics urgently pushing a medical bed with one victim wearing a red-feathered skirt on it while tourists looked shocked on the streets.

“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,” witness Jason Adams told KLAS.

Lombardo said the area is safe as officials would attempt to reopen the area as soon as possible.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said the state would work with law enforcement partners to keep the Las Vegas strip safe.

“Our hearts are with all those affected by this tragedy,” he said in a tweet. “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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Simon Kabutey
Simon Kabutey
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