Showgirls in Las Vegas are scared to go back to work after a murder spree that left two people dead and six injured on Thursday morning.
Yonni Barrios, 32, allegedly stabbed Maria DiGiovanni, a showgirl, and a pedestrian, Brent Hallet, killing them, after asking for a photograph with the showgirls, who were clad in their colorful costumes on the Las Vegas Sin City Strip, near Las Vegas Blvd. and Sands Drive at about 11:40 a.m.
He used a large chef knife. According to a police report, he stabbed the women in order to “let the anger out.”
He then went on a rampage, searching for people to stab.The suspect was caught on surveillance video entering the Wynn Casino, before he approached the showgirls, including DiGiovanni, who were outside the casino, according to an arrest report.
Barrios faces two murder charges and six attempted murder charges.
The victims were employees of Best Showgirls. Now, other employees of the company are afraid to go back to work.
The women are a tourist attraction, with their outlandish, sexy colorful outfits and feathered hats. People often ask them to pose for photographs outside the casinos.
The performers have complained that the Strip is getting more dangerous and that police presence is inadequate. They don’t get enough help from private casino security. Sometimes their flashy costumes get them too much attention, which can be dangerous, and last Thursday proved it.
Two other women were stabbed in the back, but survived. They were identified as Victoria Cayetano and Anna Westby.
DiGiovanni was stabbed in the heart, and died at the scene in the arms of Westby. Another performer managed to escape without injury.
Cayetano, who was released from the hospital, told reporters that the attack happened so quickly, she wasn’t sure what happened, after she was stabbed in the back.
Police say that the suspect, Barrios, was looking for a job on the Las Vegas Strip. He is a resident of California. He alleges that he thought the women were making fun of him, criticizing his attire.
Barrios said he just snapped.