UPDATE: Suspect's mental health delays hearing in Las Vegas stabbings

UPDATE APRIL 26: The second person to die after 3 attacks last week has been identified by the coroner as 52-year-old Israel Schwarts from Las Vegas.

According to an article in The Times of Israel, Schwarts was originally from the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Tivon and moved to the United States in 1985. He lived in Las Vegas with his wife and 3 children and repaired fire alarms for a living.

Also Wednesday, a judge reset Richi Orlando Briones court appearance for May 3 after a court-appointed attorney expressed what he called "substantial questions" about Briones' ability to understand charges against him, the Associated Press reported.
  
Defense attorney David Schieck said Briones was treated previously at mental hospitals in Las Vegas.

UPDATE APRIL 25: The first person to be stabbed has passed away, according to Las Vegas police. The victim was stabbed in an alley behind a restaurant on East Charleston Boulevard. The Clark County District Attorney has been notified and the charges against Richi Briones will be modified.

UPDATE APRIL 24: Richi Briones refused to leave his jail cell for a court appearance Monday.

The defense attorney assigned to the stabbing suspect says he'll seek a mental health evaluation for him. A judge rescheduled Briones' initial court appearance for Wednesday.

UPDATE ON APRIL 21: The arrest report for the man accused of stabbing 2 people earlier this week has been released.

According to the report, Richi Briones approached his first intended victim who was working on a vehicle in an alley at about 9:29 a.m. April 19.

The man, who was familiar with the suspect, heard him saying something about the cartel. He saw the man pull a long knife from a sheath on his hip and began running away. When he looked back, the suspect was chasing him. The intended victim was able to make it to a nearby store unharmed and immediately called the police. He was able to identify the suspect.

While police were investigating the attempted attack, the suspect attempted to buy a shotgun at the Big 5 Sporting Goods store near Charleston and Lamb boulevards. However, he was not allowed to buy the weapon because of his past history.

At about 10:13 a.m., police received a call from a man who said he had been stabbed in an alley behind the Culia Can Sushi restaurant on East Charleston Boulevard. The victim told police that the suspect approached him from behind and stabbed him without provocation in the right side. He gold police that the suspect was driving a beige minivan.

At approximately 10:49 a.m., police received 2 calls about a stabbing at the AMPM convenience store at 551 N. Lamb Boulevard. Balente Gonzalez was making purchases at the counter when he was approached by the suspect from behind. The suspect stabbed Gonzalez in the neck and right side and then ran out of the store. Gonzalez was transported to UMC Trauma where he died at 11:38 a.m.

Video surveillance revealed the attacker to be the same one who had chased an intended victim and hour before. At approximately 6:30 p.m., Briones was spotted at a bus stop and was taken into custody without incident. Four knives were removed from him at the time of his arrest.

During an interview with police, he told them that he had not slept the night before the attacks because he had used methamphetamine because he was worried the cartel was coming for him and he thought that the cartel had killed his family in California, Texas and Nevada.

Briones told police he thought his first intended victim was a hit man for the cartel and had been inside his aunt's apartment. He denied ever stabbing anyone else.

UPDATE 7 P.M. APRIL 20: The wife of the man killed in a string of stabbings is speaking about the grief her family is now going through. 

Angelica Villagomez said her husband Balente Gonzalez was killed while purchasing gas at an AMPM Wednesday morning. 

"He was paying for his gas, for his drink and someone just comes and takes his life," Villagomez said. "I don't understand, why?"

Gonzalez leaves behind three children along with his wife who remembers the last words she said to her husband of 12 years. 

"I said bye, I'll be here later and we kissed," Villagomez said as she broke down in tears.

A GoFundMe has been set up for Gonzalez. Gonzalez's family is planning to hold a car wash fundraiser at Bonanza Road and Lamb Boulevard at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Police have arrested Richi Briones and charged him with murder for the stabbing. 

UPDATE 12:20 A.M. APRIL 20: The arrest ends a tragic day in Las Vegas that began at 9:30 a.m. 

Police said there were three victims at three different locations.

The first victim, at the 4300 block of Stewart Avenue, was able to escape without harm, according to the LVMPD. The second victim, at the 4400 block of East Charleston Boulevard, was rushed to the hospital with critical injuries. The victim, at the 500 block of North Lamb Boulevard, was fatally stabbed. 

"The suspect came up from behind him," said Las Vegas police Homicide Lt. Dan McGrath, "put his arm around him, and then stabbed him."

The man killed was a customer at the gas station and convenience store. Employees outside the business were visibly shaken Wednesday afternoon.  The identity of the deceased will be released by the coroner's office.

UPDATE AT 7:20 P.M.: Las Vegas police said around 7 p.m., Richi Briones was arrested near Boulder Highway and U.S. 95.

His vehicle was located near Flamingo Road and Maryland Parkway.

UPDATE AT 4:30 P.M.: Las Vegas police said the suspect, Richi Briones, was last seen driving a tan Toyota Sienna and released surveillance photos of it.

UPDATE AT 2:30 P.M.: The suspect Richi Briones, 32, is believed to still be in northeast Las Vegas and has a history of violence and is armed.

He is considered to be a danger to the public. He was seen wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt with a white T-shirt underneath, blue jeans and black tennis shoes. He is about 5-feet 10-inches tall and has a thin build.

WATCH: Police give a press briefing on the stabbing and the suspect.

ORIGINAL STORY

Three stabbings have been reported in the area of North Lamb Boulevard between Charleston Boulevard and Stewart Avenue. Suspect has fled the scene in tan Toyota minivan and is still at large.

Reported locations:

  • 4300 block of Stewart where he first appeared
  • 4400 block of East Charleston
  • 500 block of N. Lamb

One victim has been pronounced dead and the other has reportedly been rushed into surgery.

Richi Briones, 32, has been named as a person of interest.

 

More details to come shortly.

Watch: Chopper 13 video from the scene is below.

Lesley Marin at the scene with more information from witnesses. 

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