The wife of an Alberta man who was fatally stabbed in a random attack on the Las Vegas Strip last week is remembering him as a kid at heart.
Brent Hallett, 46, had been travelling the world since April 2021 with his wife, looking for their forever-home. They had been to Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore before landing in Las Vegas, a favourite destination the two had been to many times.
“He loved Disneyland, so he was kind of a kid at heart, but he was also an old soul,” Carmelita Hallett said Friday in a phone interview from Ponoka, south of Edmonton.
“His favourite musician was Elvis Presley, so he had both qualities in the same body.”
She said her husband loved animals, especially rabbits, which they had had as pets since they got together 28 years ago. After they found a place to settle down, Hallett said, they planned to get more rabbits to add to the family.
“It was always something we were going to do.”
She said her husband easily made friends on their travels and had a gregarious disposition.
He was a businessman and was involved with a variety of entrepreneurial endeavours, including an ice cream shop.
The couple was walking past the Wynn Las Vegas Resort in Las Vegas on Oct. 6 when the midday attack happened.
Police in Las Vegas have said a man asked a group of showgirls outside the resort to pose with him for a photo, then he took out a chef’s knife and began stabbing people.
Brent Hallett and another person were killed and six others were wounded.
Yoni Barrios, 32, has been charged with two counts of murder and six counts of attempted murder.
A defence lawyer in the case has raised questions about the suspect’s mental health. According to an arrest report, Barrios said after the stabbings that he had “let the anger out.”
He is being held without bail pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for January.
“It was over so fast,” said Carmelita Hallett, adding she was right beside her husband when he was stabbed.
“I didn’t see anything until I looked at him after it happened, and he fell to the ground.
“My message to everyone is to live every second to your fullest, because you never know when it’s going to be over.”
She said she plans to organize a charity called “Jumpy” in honour of her husband’s life and love for animals.
“I don’t want him to be forgotten and I don’t want this horrible thing that happened to be forgotten.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 14, 2022.
— By Angela Amato in Edmonton, with files from The Associated Press
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.
The Canadian Press