NEW details have surfaced in the stabbing death of a Las Vegas showgirl who reportedly died in her friend’s arms after she was assaulted.
Maris Digiovanni, who worked for Vegas’ top showgirls, was one of two people to die in a shooting spree on the Las Vegas Strip on Thursday.
Digiovanni boss Cheryl Lowthorp told the New York Post that the woman died while another showgirl was administering first aid.
“It just happened so quickly; he stabbed Maris in the heart,” Lowthorp told the outlet.
Lowthorp said one of the showgirls escaped while another, Anna, came to Digiovanni’s aid.
“She already knew Maris was gone because she was dying in her arms,” Lowthorp said.
But while Anna was helping Digiovanni, she was stabbed in the back by suspect Yoni Barrios, leaving her with a punctured lung, Lowthorp said.
Lowthorp has set up a GoFundMe to help their affected employees.
The fundraiser has already received thousands of dollars in donations.
Lowthorp told the Post Digiovanni is an “extraordinary young woman,” adding she has traveled the world and worked as an English teacher in Hong Kong.
Digiovanni also reportedly worked as a teacher at the 9th Bridge School in Las Vegas.
“She was always looking out for the girls,” Lowthorp said.
Digiovanni’s older brother Gage shared a tribute as the family tries to cope with their loss.
“It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to my amazing little sister and see you later,” Gage wrote on Facebook.
“Maris was the victim of the horrific stabbing of eight people in Las Vegas today.
“Please pray for our family and her husband. We appreciate the space to mourn in the coming days and know that she touched your life as she did ours.”
In 12 years, Lowthorp said she had never seen an incident like this.
“For 12 years we have gone without arrests and no one has been hurt,” she said, adding that Barrios “didn’t just take the beautiful life from Maris. That shook us all.”
POSSIBLE MOTIVE REVEALED
Barrios, 32, appeared in court following the violent stabbings a day earlier near Wynn and Resorts World casinos in Las Vegas.
The suspect faces two counts of murder by a deadly weapon and six counts of attempted murder after 47-year-old Brent Allan Hallett and 30-year-old Maris Mareen Digiovanni were killed in the crime.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson announced the charges and said they were considering seeking the death penalty.
“We will seriously consider it. But it’s still so early,” Wolfson said after Barrios’ first court appearance.
Barrios was seen in a dark blue jumpsuit and orange handcuffs as a judge ordered him held without bail. A hearing was scheduled for Tuesday.
New information has emerged about Barrios’ possible motive and the background of one of the victims.
While Barrios was outside the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, he reportedly had the kitchen knife in hand and asked for a photo with some of the showgirls outside.
The suspect told a woman he was a chef and wanted to use his knife to take a picture with some of the showgirls, the Associated Press reported.
He is said to have started stabbing victims when the group refused his request.
Dewaun Turner, 47, witnessed the gruesome event and told the Las Vegas Review Journal that he saw two of the showgirls run and scream.
Turner said he saw five of the victims being attacked.
Police said the first stabbing on the sidewalk was unprovoked and took place without a prior altercation.
Barrios is reportedly a Guatemalan citizen residing illegally in the US and has a criminal record in California, Fox News reported, citing a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement source.
“IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE”
Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo told the media in a news conference that Las Vegas tourists were among the victims of the attack.
Though it’s still an isolated case, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, residents in the area are still concerned.
“Honestly, I’m very upset, all the girls are. It’s scary because it can happen to anyone,” Bobi Jo Milstead, the owner of nearby Stardust Starlets, told KSNV.
Several casinos in the area closed their entrances after the stabbings.
Metropolitan Police Department Deputy Chief James LaRochelle noted the devastation felt by the community following the horror attack.
“This is clearly a very tragic and difficult to understand, difficult to understand murder investigation that is deeply affecting our community,” he said.
“We wanted to express our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and to the victims themselves.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6395885/stabbing-death-las-vegas-showgirl-knife-wielding-suspect-attacked/ Shocking details emerge as the Las Vegas showgirl was stabbed to death after a knife-wielding suspect ‘attacked’ 8 near the casino