Vegas stabbing survivor recounts the moment her friend died
One of the showgirls stabbed in a brutal attack is no longer in critical condition as she recounts the moment her friend died in her arms.
Anna Westby, 26, suffered a punctured lung and was struggling to breath after being stabbed by Yoni Christian Barrios, 32, who killed two and left six injured in a brazen attack in broad daylight outside the Wynn hotel.
One of the victims was Maris Digiovanni, 30, Westby’s coworker at Best Showgirls in Vegas, who died in her arms after they were approached by Barrios, who told detectives he was an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala with a criminal record.
‘He pulled up a knife and he showed it to us as if modeling it,’ she told the . ‘Before we could say anything at all. He grabbed the knife and he stabbed Maris in the heart,’ she said.
The moment was so shocking to Westby that she didn’t even have time to worry about herself as she tried to apply pressure to Digiovanni’s wound.
‘And another guy said, ‘Ma’am, you have a stab wound on your back.’ I said, ‘I know.’ Can you
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A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department arrest report first obtained by said Barrios came from California to Vegas two days earlier and planned to move in with a friend, but when he arrived the friend backed out.
Barrios told detectives he took a bus to the strip, where other passengers made fun of him and he ‘wasn’t treated like a human being.’
According to the report, Barrios asked a janitor at the Wynn Hotel and Casino about job opportunities, then asked the janitor to contact ICE for him so he could return home to Guatemala.
Barrios then asked a security guard at the hotel about selling his knives to pay for his trip home, officers wrote.
The guard told Barrios to ‘jump in front of a train.’
Barrios exited the hotel and it was then that he approached his first victims.
He is currently held in the Clark County Detention Center and charged with two counts of murder with a deadly weapon and six counts of attempted murder.
Video shown by officials at a press conference hours after the stabbing showed the suspect fleeing the scene
A victim is tended to by first responders in front of the casino where the stabbing took place
Dewaun Turner, 47, who witnessed five of the stabbings, told the that he saw two showgirls running and screaming while being chased by the knifeman.
One was on the floor after being stabbed, and the other tried to run off. But the knifeman chased and stabbed her too.
Then, the man stabbed a man who was walking with a woman.
Turner then saw him stab two more women, with one of them seriously injured.
Tourists are among the victims, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo later told the media.
During that press conference Metropolitan Police Department Deputy Chief James LaRochelle said that the suspect started stabbing without provocation.
He said that authorities are in possession of video showing the suspect leaving the original scene and running down Las Vegas Boulevard heading towards Sands Boulevard.
Barrios was held by Sands security guards until the police arrived.
Maris and husband Cole Jordan, pictured on their wedding day
Maris (right) graduated with a degree in education from Washington State University, and had worked as a preschool-elementary teacher in both Bahrain and Hong Kong
The 30-year-old (pictured) had worked as a teacher at 9th Bridge School in Las Vegas
Maris (right) is pictured with her cousin, Ashlei who said she ‘brought a light to everyone’s life’
Digiovanni’s brother, Gage, 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 eight 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.’
One of Maris’ friends took to social media to pay tribute to the ‘kindest soul.’
Emma Leeson wrote about her friend: ‘Absolutely shocked, devastated and heart broken.
‘The most kindest beautiful soul taken way to young, this is so unfair and should never of happened – I can’t wrap my head around any of it.
‘Thank you for all the incredibly fun amazing spontaneous memories and adventures we got to share together.’
Maris’s cousin also remembered the 30-year-old as someone who ‘brought a light to everyone’s life.’
Ashlei Digiovanni said: ‘I still can’t believe you’re actually gone. This world can be so evil. You brought a light to everyone’s life who crossed your path.
‘I’m so thankful for the moments I got to have with you. From sunset chasing, to dancing in your kitchen, to nights out to talking about absolutely anything under the sun.
‘You were one of the most open, lighthearted, and easy going people who wanted to make others’ days better. You were my cousin and my best friend. My heart is broken knowing I can’t snap or call you. I love you.’