'She didn't have to die': Las Vegas stabbing victim speaks out after witnessing friend killed

ByZohreen Shah ABCNews logo
Sunday, October 9, 2022
Las Vegas stabbings: Victims speak out as suspect appears in court
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Two of the show girls stabbed in the attack are reliving the terrifying moments that injured six and left others two dead, including their friend.

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- The suspect in a deadly Las Vegas stabbing rampage on the strip appeared in court Friday, where new details emerged about the suspect and the attack.

Two of the showgirls stabbed in the attack are reliving the terrifying moments for the first time after a man went on a stabbing spree that injured six and left two others dead, including their friend.

Anna Westby, speaking from a hospital bed, described 32-year-old Yoni Barrios walking up to them on Las Vegas Blvd in a chef's jacket, carrying a foot-long kitchen knife and asking for a photo.

"He asked her for a photo with his logo. We said yes, then he pulled out the knife. And we're like, that's not a logo, like a logo we were expecting," said Westby, one of the victims.

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One of them said she felt uncomfortable and began to back away, which is when the suspect charged at her, according to an arrest report from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

The suspect stabbed one of the women in the back and the other woman in the chest, killing the woman stabbed in the chest, according to the report.

"He grabbed the knife... He grabbed it and stabbed Maris in the heart," Westby recalled.

Police said Barrios stabbed them and then ran down the street, stabbing others in his path.

He appeared in court for the first time Friday and has been booked on two counts of murder and six counts of attempted murder. According to a law enforcement official, Barrios confessed and said he was sorry.

"This is a serious case, as I am sure everyone can understand what a tragedy it is to have occurred," said Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson.

The stabbings took place Thursday near the Wynn Hotel and Casino, the arrest report said. The incident was captured on surveillance video, according to the report, and homicide detectives interviewed several victims.

Barrios told police he thought the women were making fun of him, which they strongly deny, saying they work for tips.

"There was no -- not a single moment where he was provoked. Absolutely no, there was no making fun of anyone. It was a game for him," Westby said. "He had every intention on killing her and killing us."

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Police interviewed another surviving victim at the UMC Trauma Center, who told them he was walking on the Strip with his wife near the Wynn Hotel. He saw a man running toward him with a knife covered in blood, and said the suspect said, "Sorry man," as he stabbed him in the center of his back, the report said.

Six people did survive the stabbing, however, three of them are in critical condition in the hospital. Two others, 30-year-old Maris Digiovanni and 47-year-old Brent Hallett both died from their wounds.

When asked if Westby remembered her friend's last words, she said, "It wasn't her words. It was her eyes... she didn't have to die."

Their friend Victoria Cayetano was also stabbed but has been released from the hospital.

"I started running. I just started screaming, 'he has a knife' and I ran as fast as I could. That's when I realized that I could really die," Cayetano said.

Both women are survivors but said their dreams have been completely shattered.

Wolfson said investigators are still gathering information about the suspect. They have learned he came from California and has only been in Las Vegas for a short time, he added. Barrios is not a US citizen, according to Wolfson.

"Whether he is a citizen or not we're going to proceed based upon the evidence in this case, so that has no effect at all," Wolfson said.

When asked if deportation was an option, Wolfson said he is "not thinking about deportation right now."

"I am thinking about filing very serious charges based upon the evidence and based upon what you all know occurred just yesterday," Wolfson said.

The suspect is being held without bail, according to court records.

CNN has reached out to Barrios' attorney for comment.

ABC News and CNN contributed to this post.