HENDERSON, Nev. (KLAS) — A UCLA student accused of stabbing her online date in retaliation for a U.S. military drone strike that killed an Iranian leader told police she wanted to get revenge, she said in police body camera videos obtained by 8 News Now Investigators in Las Vegas.
A Clark County grand jury indicted Nika Nikoubin, 22, on charges of attempted murder with the use of a deadly weapon because of certain, actual or perceived characteristics of a person, and two counts of battery, records showed.
Henderson police arrested Nikoubin, a UCLA student, shortly after the stabbing on March 5 at Sunset Station. Nikoubin and the male victim met online on the dating website Plenty of Fish, Henderson police wrote in an arrest report. The duo then agreed to meet at the hotel, renting a room together, police said.
“We were drinking a little bit and then — I guess we started to get into it and then I stabbed him,” Nikoubin told a police officer in the video.
The videos show police’s response minutes after the victim called 911. Police found Nikoubin naked in a utility area on the 14th floor of the hotel, they said. One half-hour-long video shows an officer interviewing Nikoubin about the stabbing.
Nikoubin, who told the officer she was born in Iran, said she moved to Las Vegas the week before. She said she had ties to Texas.
“Did you plan on meeting [the victim] to hurt him?” the officer asked Nikoubin.
“Yes,” she said.
“You did. To kill him or just to hurt him?” the officer asked.
“Hurt him,” she said.
While in the room, the pair began engaging in sexual activity, when Nikoubin put a blindfold on the victim, police said. Nikoubin then turned off the lights, and several seconds later, stabbed the victim in the neck, documents said.
“She turned off the light and then afterwards I started to feel a pressure on my neck, and it got sharp, so I panicked and said, ‘What the [expletive] are you doing?’” the victim told the grand jury. “I screamed. ‘What the [expletive] are you doing?’ And I shoved her off me, you know, still yelling like, ‘What the [expletive] are you doing?’ And then she says, ‘Sorry,’ and then she ran out of the room.”
While speaking to officers, Nikoubin said she wanted to get revenge for the drone strike, which killed Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani in 2020.
“I guess out of spite and revenge,” she told the officer when he asked why she stabbed the victim.
“What do you mean by that? Like, why?” the officer asked.
“I mean the U.S. killed Soleimani. Lots of blood spilled,” she said. “So, I feel like, it’s fair that American blood be spilled.”
Soleimani was a popular Iranian military officer and right-hand man to the country’s supreme leader. Former Pres. Donald Trump called for Soleimani’s assassination to kill “the number-one terrorist anywhere in the world” to protect “American diplomats and military personnel” worldwide.
“Obviously, you’re very disgruntled about that,” the officer said to Nikoubin.
“Yes,” she said.
“Do you not like Americans?” the officer asked.
“Americans are cool, just I don’t think it was fair,” she said.
“Is it white males you don’t like? Is it a certain person you don’t like? What don’t you like about [the victim]?” the officer asked.
“I don’t know. I just felt like somebody on American soil should die because he also died,” she said.
The stabbing victim was able to speak to investigators that same night. Photos show his injuries, which included at least two puncture wounds to his neck.
Two letters from doctors are included in the grand jury evidence. One doctor noted Nikoubin was diagnosed with generalized anxiety order, major depressive disorder and paranoid personality disorder.
“According to clinical observation and client’s self-report, Nika’s paranoia may result in risky and unsafe behavior such as harm to self or others,” the doctor wrote.
In April, a judge found Nikoubin competent to stand trial. She posted $60,000 bail and was allowed to return to Texas on house arrest.
A spokesperson for Nikoubin said she received mental health treatment and was employed pending trial. He denied any political motivation for Nikoubin’s actions.