A Spokane woman was one of two killed in a random Las Vegas stabbing spree Thursday morning. Six people remain hospitalized.
Maris DiGiovanni, 30, died of her wounds Thursday, the Clark County coroner’s office told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
DiGiovanni graduated from Lewis and Clark High School in 2010 before going on to attend Washington State University, where she graduated in 2014. She married Cole Jordan in 2017.
“Maris loved the beauty of life, and lived it to the fullest without limitations,” her family wrote in a statement. “She was an authentic and caring friend, a devoted wife, a kick-ass sister, and a loving daughter.”
She was one of eight people stabbed just before noon Thursday on the Las Vegas strip, according to a news release from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
Yoni Barrios, 32, was arrested shortly after the stabbings and booked into Clark County Detention Center on suspicion of murder with a deadly weapon and six counts of attempted murder.
The arrest report said Barrios began stabbing people when he tried to take a photo with women dressed as showgirls.
According to the Review-Journal, DiGiovanni was among four women posing as showgirls. The newspaper, citing the arrest report, wrote that witnesses said Barrios was dressed in a chef’s jacket and holding a large knife. He said he was selling knives.
One of the women said she was uncomfortable with Barrios’ proposal and backed away, only to be stabbed in the back, according to the police report. Barrios then stabbed DiGiovanni before running down the strip and stabbing several others, according to the report. Also killed was Brent Hallett, 47.
“This was an isolated incident,” Deputy Chief James LaRochelle wrote. “All evidence indicates Barrios acted alone.”
The department said it’s unclear what motivated the attack. Three of the victims remained in critical condition Thursday night while the rest were stable.
DiGiovanni loved to travel, “making friends and leaving ripples of love” everywhere she visited, her family said in a statement sent by her brother, Gage DiGiovanni. After traveling to dozens of countries, DiGiovanni and her husband lived in Hong Kong for a time before moving to Las Vegas, the family said.
“Maris always saw the best in people, always gave them a chance, and always accepted people for who they were. Her huge capacity for love led her to have lasting friendships from all over the world,” her family wrote. “She was a beautiful spirit and soul, and we will miss her for the rest of our lives.”
A GoFundMe to raise money for funeral expenses was created Friday afternoon.
Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Sabrina Schnur contributed to this report.
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