Police: 2 killed, 6 wounded in ‘unprovoked’ mass stabbing on Las Vegas Strip
LAS VEGAS — A suspect who authorities say acted alone is in custody after fatally stabbing two people and wounding six others late Thursday morning in an “unprovoked attack” on the Las Vegas Strip.
The victims were a combination of tourists and locals, Deputy Police Chief James LaRochelle said at a news briefing Thursday afternoon.
One victim was pronounced dead at the scene, and another died at University Medical Center. The remaining victims were being treated at area hospitals, LaRochelle said, and three were in critical condition as of late Thursday afternoon.
Meanwhile, police described the attacker as a man in his 30s who does not appear to be a Las Vegas resident. A possible motive has not been identified.
According to LaRochelle, the mass stabbing unfolded within minutes around 11:40 a.m. on a Strip sidewalk at the intersection of Sands Avenue, near the Palazzo hotel-casino and across the street from the Wynn.
”There was no altercation beforehand,” said LaRochelle, who heads the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s investigative division.
After the first stabbing, the suspect kept walking down the sidewalk and attacked the other victims.
He was taken into custody “within a matter of minutes” by Strip security guards in the area, and the weapon, described by LaRochelle as a knife “with a long blade,” had been recovered.
At the conclusion of the short news briefing, Sheriff Joe Lombardo told reporters the situation was “static” and no other suspects were at-large. He described the stabbings as a “one-off event.”
Police did not say Thursday what charges the suspect will face.
The Clark County coroner's office will identify the victims after their relatives have been notified.
At the scene, witnesses told Las Vegas TV stations that some of the victims appeared to be showgirls who take pictures with tourists.
Pierre Fandrich told KTNV that he did not see the stabbing suspect as he was walking along the Strip. But he said he thought he heard “three or four showgirls laughing,” although it turned out to be screaming.
Fandrich said he saw “a lot of blood” as one woman ran across a pedestrian bridge, one was on the ground, and another had a stab wound on her back as she tried to help the fallen woman.
He also told KTNV that he thought one of the victims fell from the bridge because there was so much blood on the ground.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak shared a statement Thursday afternoon on Twitter:
"Our hearts are with all those affected by this tragedy," Sisolak said. "At the State level, we will continue to work with partners in law enforcement to make resources available on the ground and ensure the Las Vegas Strip remains a safe and welcoming place for all to visit."
Contributing: Associated Press.
Rio Lacanlale is the Las Vegas correspondent for the Reno Gazette Journal and the USA Today Network. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @riolacanlale. Support local journalism by subscribing to the RGJ today.