Criminal & Civil Justice News

Man sought in Las Vegas stabbings that left 1 dead


Investigators stand near the scene of a stabbing at a gas station, Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in Las Vegas. Police in Las Vegas are searching for a man sought in several knife attacks that occurred Wednesday in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Investigators stand near the scene of a stabbing at a gas station, Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in Las Vegas. Police in Las Vegas are searching for a man sought in several knife attacks that occurred Wednesday in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A man attacked three people with a large knife, killing one and seriously injuring another before fleeing, in what Las Vegas police called a series of random attacks.

Police identified the suspect as Richi Briones, 32, who underwent a court-ordered mental health evaluation in recent months.

The first attack occurred at an apartment complex east of downtown Las Vegas about 9:30 a.m., police said. A man escaped injury in that attack. The attacks continued about 10:15 a.m. with another man badly wounded in an attack by a man wielding a large knife in an alley behind a sushi restaurant.

Between those times, police Lt. Dan McGrath said Briones tried without success to buy a shotgun at a nearby sporting goods store.

Officer Michael Rodriguez, a department spokesman, said he didn’t immediately know why the sale wasn’t completed.

The fatal attack came after Briones parked the vehicle he was driving — a tan Toyota minivan with extensive dents and damage — and attacked a gas station convenience store customer from behind.

At least one store clerk and several other customers were in the store at the time, Rodriguez said, and police recovered security camera footage. Rodriguez said the video was evidence in the case and would not be made public pending court proceedings.

McGrath told reporters the attacker approached the man from behind, put his arm around his neck and shoulders and stabbed him.

“It was very random,” McGrath said.

The names of the victims weren’t immediately made public.

Police released a recent jail booking photo of Briones, and said they were focusing the search in the northeast Las Vegas area. They said Briones was considered armed and dangerous.

According to court records, Briones underwent a mental evaluation before a state court judge ruled in January that he was competent to face a felony auto theft charge.

The case was dismissed in February by a judge after a preliminary hearing of evidence, records show.

A prosecutor and public defender involved in the case weren’t immediately identified, and Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson declined to comment.

KEN RITTER

Source: AP

Copyright 2017 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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