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‘I don’t think I’m going to make it’: Widow recalls man’s final words after Strip stabbing

Updated October 12, 2022 - 7:04 am

Carmelita Hallett can’t forget her husband’s final words.

“I don’t think I’m going to make it,” he said to her. Then he fell to the ground.

Brent Hallett, 47, had been stabbed suddenly in the back. It was broad daylight, about 20 minutes before noon on a busy, sun-drenched Las Vegas Boulevard. A man was running down the Strip in front of Wynn Las Vegas, stabbing people with a knife with a 12-inch blade. Six people were injured in the Thursday attack. Two were killed, including Las Vegas resident Maris DiGiovanni, 30, and Hallett.

Carmelita Hallett, 49, spoke about her harrowing experience from that awful morning in a phone interview from Edmonton, Alberta, on Tuesday.

While the couple’s home is in Canada, they had been traveling around the world. Their last stop before returning home to Alberta was Las Vegas, where they had been staying for four months. The plan was to fly back to Canada in two weeks.

‘Brent’s favorite place’

The Clark County coroner’s office initially identified Brent Hallett as a Las Vegas resident. He wasn’t, his wife said, though the couple had traveled here dozens of times over the years and had been married in Las Vegas in 1999.

The pair loved Las Vegas, Carmelita Hallett said, but not for the gambling or any of Sin City’s many vices. Being from Canada, they loved the weather. The constant sun. The blue skies.

“It was Brent’s favorite place,” she said.

So when the two were walking the Strip last Thursday morning, they were living the life they had always wanted. While walking, Brent Hallett also had expressed sympathy for some of the homeless and down-and-out people they saw on the Strip that morning.

If under different circumstances he had seen Yoni Barrios, who told a Los Angeles TV crew two days before the stabbings that he had lost everything and needed help, he might have wanted to help the man, Carmelita Hallett said.

But now, after what happened, she didn’t want to talk about the man accused of killing her husband.

This is how she remembers what unfolded next:

“All I remember is that we were walking, and we were holding hands and he flinched,” she said. “And I saw a guy run by and I looked at (Brent) and he put his hand on his back.”

Brent Hallett then uttered his final words and fell to the ground.

“I thought someone just bumped him,” his wife said. “I didn’t see anything happen.”

At that point, two young men jumped over a nearby hedge and rushed into help to stop the bleeding with their shirts. Carmelita Hallett, who was in shock while it happened, said she wants to thank them.

She said she and her husband had been together 28 years and married for 23.

“He was fun, but he wasn’t, like, a comedian,” Carmelita Hallett said. “He was gregarious, I guess you could say. And he loved meeting people. And we met so many people in Las Vegas.”

‘We were best friends’

He loved his wife, his family and animals, she said. They had pet rabbits. In Las Vegas, they would go to the South Point Arena and Equestrian Center to see the horses.

Carmelita Hallett has created a GoFundMe page in her late husband’s memory called Brent Hallett Vegas Tragedy. She’s still figuring out all the details, but she wants to donate any money raised by the GoFundMe to various animal welfare causes.

Family and friends in Canada are “devastated and in disbelief that something like this could happen,” she said. Brent Hallett’s hometown was Ponoka, Alberta, which is between the Canadian province’s major cities of Calgary and Edmonton.

Carmelita Hallett said the couple’s large extended families are helping to support her as she navigates her grief and loss.

“Everybody says we had the best relationship, you know?” she said. “We were best friends. We were kind to each other. He always came first for me, and I always came first for him.”

Contact Brett Clarkson at bclarkson@reviewjournal.com or 561-324-6421. Follow @BrettClarkson_ on Twitter.

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