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Crime News Breaking News

Police Release 911 Calls From Las Vegas Strip Stabbings That Injured 6, Killed 2

The audio from 15 calls to 911 made after Yoni Barrios allegedly stabbed eight strangers, killing two, was released by the Las Vegas police on Wednesday.

By Megan Carpentier
Killer Motive: What Drives People To Kill?

Police have released more than a dozen 911 calls that came in last Thursday morning, when a man went on a stabbing rampage along the Las Vegas strip, injuring six people and killing two.

Yoni Barrios, 32, is being held without bail by the Clark County Sheriff's Office on two charges of open murder and six attempted murder charges, all with deadly weapon enhancements, according to jail records reviewed by Oxygen.com. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has also filed an immigration detainer against him, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported, under the name "Yony Cristian Barrios-Lopez."

Police allege that, shortly before 11:40 a.m. on Wednesday, Barrios approached a group of four women who dress as showgirls and pose for photographs with tourists on a pedestrian bridge over the Las Vegas Strip near the Wynn and Resorts World casinos, according to Vegas Fox affiliate KVVU. Dressed in a white chef's coat, he asked to take a picture with them, but then pulled out a large knife, according to victim Anna Westby's interview with the NY Post.

RELATED: Suspect Allegedly Confessed To Killing Man With Decorative Brick On The Las Vegas Strip

"He pulled up a knife and he showed it to us as if modeling it,” Westby, 26, told the paper. “All four of us looked at each other and were trying to make a decision… 'This is too weird. Do we agree with this?' Before we could say anything at all, he grabbed the knife and he stabbed Maris in the heart."

Maris Digiovanni, 30, died. 

He then stabbed their coworker, Victoria Cayetano, 19, in the shoulder, and then ran after Digiovanni and Westby, who had both tried to get away, and stabbed Westby in the back after her friend fell as a result of her injuries, according to interviews the two did with the Review-Journal. The fourth woman, who their employer, Best Showgirls in Vegas, only identified as Selina, escaped without being stabbed. 

Westby's 911 call was the first to come into police, at 11:40 a.m.

“I have a stab wound in the back can you help me?” she said in the call, adding, "He stabbed her."

A police handout of Yoni Barrio

Westby said in interviews that she attempted to put pressure on her friend's wound and asked a passerby who stopped to help to put pressure on her own wound, which had punctured one of her lungs. 

Her call becomes less coherent as she loses more blood and the passerby continues to encourage her to breathe.

"And I start losing consciousness because I was losing so much blood and so I laid my head on Maris’ chest and I noticed that she stopped breathing," she said in her interview with the paper on Saturday.

Cayatano made it into the Wynn, according to an arrest report obtained by KVVU, where a woman at the hotel called 911.

"She’s bleeding profusely,” the witness said. “Somebody walked up to her and stabbed her.”

The suspect — allegedly Barrios — took off down the pedestrian bridge in the direction of the Palazzo, which is south of the Wynn, after stabbing the three women.

A witness told the Review-Journal that, after stabbing Westby, he stabbed a man who was walking with a woman. The man appeared to have died at the scene.

That was Brent Hallett, 47, who was visiting from Edmonton, Alberta with his wife, Carmelita Hallett, 49, and walking along the Strip near the Wynn.

“All I remember is that we were walking, and we were holding hands and he flinched,” as a man ran by them, Carmelita Hallett told the paper. "I thought someone just bumped him. I didn’t see anything happen."

Brett Hallett, however, then told his wife, "I don’t think I’m going to make it," and fell to the ground.

Two passersby attempted to put pressure on Brett's stab wound, but he also died.

Barrios then allegedly walked up to a group of three women — a mother and her daughters — and stabbed the two girls. The mother apparently called 911 and said one of her daughters was stabbed in the abdomen and another man who had been walking behind them — Hallett — had been stabbed as well.

A GoFundMe first identified the two girls as Gabrielle “Gabby” Hewes and Cassandra “Cassy” Hewes. An aunt and a cousin told Baltimore CBS affiliate WJZ that the two had been taking pictures with another set of showgirls when they were stabbed. Their mother, a registered nurse, reportedly provided first aid during her 911 call along with two other passersby. Cassy has been released from the hospital, but Gabby was still in the ICU as of Monday after another surgery.

The other two victims have not been identified, though the arrest report says one is a man. He told police at the hospital that Barrios said, "Sorry man," before stabbing him in the back, according to ABC News.

Barrios was detained by police shortly after the stabbings, and they reportedly recovered the knife, which he had thrown into some shrubbery, according to the Associated Press.

He allegedly told police that he "thought the women were laughing at him and making fun of his clothing," the arrest report said — which both Westby and Cayatano deny, saying that he began his attack shortly after pulling out the knife — and that he stabbed the five other people to "let the anger out."

Barrios was previously arrested on domestic violence charges in the Los Angeles area in 2018, but his case was tossed after prosecutors failed to quickly bring it to trial, the Daily Mail reported. Two days before the stabbings, a man who identified himself as Barrios approached a cameraman from the L.A. Telemundo affiliate KNSV outside Los Angeles City Hall and asked for unspecified help.

He told the cameraman, Jorge López, that he'd lost his house and López said he kept repeating in Spanish, "I just want a shot, I just want to start from scratch."

Barrios told police that he'd come to stay with a friend in Vegas on Tuesday — after his encounter with López in Los Angeles — but the friend rescinded the invite, so Barrios took a bus to the Strip.

"Barrios stated that on the bus ride to the Strip people were making fun of him and he wasn't being treated like a human being," according to the arrest report. He then allegedly said he'd gone to the Wynn to inquire about jobs as either a janitor or a chef, but was rebuffed. He then allegedly tried to sell his chef's knives to make money to return home, but a Wynn security guard also rebuffed those efforts, at which point he headed to the pedestrian bridge, according to the AP.

He allegedly also told police that he'd hoped they'd shoot him, the AP reported, and said that he was sorry, ABC News reported. 

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