LAS VEGAS – A suspect who authorities say acted alone was in custody Thursday after fatally stabbing two people and wounding six others in an “unprovoked” attack on the Las Vegas Strip, police said.
The victims were a combination of tourists and locals, police Capt. James LaRochelle said at a news briefing Thursday afternoon. They were taken to area hospitals for treatment, and three were in critical condition.
He described the attacker as a man in his 30s who does not appear to be a Las Vegas resident.
According to LaRochelle, the attack unfolded 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, LaRochelle said.
The suspect was taken into custody “within a matter of minutes” by security guards in the area, and the weapon, described by LaRochelle as a knife “with a long blade,” was recovered.
“Our hearts are with all those affected by this tragedy,” Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said on Twitter. “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.”
Witnesses told Las Vegas TV stations that the stabbings occurred in multiple locations, and some of the victims appeared to be showgirls who take pictures with tourists on the Strip.
Pierre Fandrich told KTNV he saw “a lot of blood” as one woman ran across a bridge, one was on the ground, and another had a stab wound on her back as she tried to help the fallen woman. A bystander performed CPR until authorities arrived, he said.
“This is clearly a very tragic and hard-to-understand, hard-to-comprehend murder investigation,” LaRochelle said.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, a local government agency in charge of promotion, said in a statement that “all indications are that this was an isolated incident perpetrated by one individual.”
“Our hearts are with all those affected by today’s tragic incident on the Strip. Our destination has always placed the highest priority on the safety of our residents and visitors,” the statement reads.
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.
Follow Rio Lacanlale on Twitter: @riolacanlale.
Contributing: The Associated Press