One of the Las Vegas showgirls stabbed in Thursday’s horrific attack on the city’s famed strip recounted in a tearful interview with The Post the moment her friend and coworker Maris Digiovanni was dying in her arms.
Anna Westby, 26, who was also stabbed in the attack and suffered a punctured lung, struggled at times to breath as she detailed the broad-daylight stabbing that shocked Sin City.
“I went over to Maris and I turned her over. I told this guy to give me his shirt and I grabbed it from him and I started applying pressure to her wound,” Westby recalled in the bedside interview at a Vegas hospital.
“And another guy said, ‘Ma’am, you have a stab wound on your back.’ I said, ‘I know. Can you grab your shirt and apply it to my back while I apply this to her?’”
On Friday, Westby broke into tears as she struggled to make sense of why Yoni Barrios allegedly carried out the attack that claimed the life of Digiovanni and Las Vegas resident Brent Allan Hallett, 47. Six others were also injured.
Westby said Barrios was carrying a bag when he approached the women on South Las Vegas Boulevard near the Wynn Las Vegas and the Resorts World Casino. He initially asked them to take a picture with him for his logo.
That’s when women spotted Barrios’s knife.
“He pulled up a knife and he showed it to us as if modeling it,” she said. “All four of us looked at each other and were trying to make a decision… This is too weird. Do we agree with this? Before we could say anything at all. He grabbed the knife and he stabbed Maris in the heart,” she said.
Barrios then allegedly stabbed another showgirl, Victoria, before he again turned to Digiovanni and Westby.
“Maris made it only about 15 feet before she collapsed,” Westby said. “And he came after me and stabbed me in the back, and he ran off.”
Westby said she managed to call 911 when another man told her that she also was injured.
Lying in her hospital bed Friday, Westby took deep breaths and winced in pain from her stab wound, but managed to smile nevertheless when a few of her friends and her twin brother came by her side.
“She’s doing as well as she can,” said her brother, Drew Westby, who moved to Vegas from Los Angeles with his sister. “She just got out of surgery and is on some pain medication. Thankfully she has a lot of people who love her. She’s alive and that’s the most important thing.”
Although she is no longer in critical condition, she has a long healing process ahead of her and is expected to be out of the hospital in a few days.
The showgirls’ boss, Cheryl Lowthorp, has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help cover Digiovanni’s funeral expenses as well as medical and professional help for the girls who were wounded.
Barrios, a 32-year-old Guatemalan national with a criminal record in California, was reportedly in the country illegally when he went allegedly launched the deadly stabbing spree around 12:30 p.m. Thursday.
He was detained by security guards from the Sands with Metropolitan Police officers while running on a strip sidewalk, police said. He’s currently being held in the Clark County Detention Center.
Barrios is charged with two counts of open murder with a deadly weapon and six counts of attempted murder.
He made his first court appearance on Friday and is expected to appear again on Oct. 11, according to KKTV.