A woman has been charged with attempted murder after stabbing a student several times in the head while on a bus in a suspected racist attack.
Billie Davis, 56, is in custody following the attack in Bloomington, Indiana, last week, which was reported to police by shocked passengers who watched her begin to strike the 18-year-old.
It was not until the teenager was taken to hospital that she was found to have suffered stab wounds to the head.
The attack appeared unprovoked, as video from inside the bus showed Davis and the Asian victim, who studies at Indiana University, had no prior interaction.
Surveillance footage shows her stabbing the woman seven times as she stood waiting for the exit doors to open, according to local media.
In a statement, the university’s vice president said the attack was a reminder that “anti-Asian hate is real”.
“No one should face harassment or violence due to their background, ethnicity, or heritage,” he added.
It comes after ABC News affiliate WRTV reported, citing court records, that Davis told police she stabbed the student with a folding knife because it “would be one less person to blow up our country”.
Officers tracked Davis down with the help of a passenger who followed her after she got off the bus.
Bloomington mayor John Hamilton has expressed solidarity with the Asian community, which has been the target of increased violence across the US in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Hamilton said the town of 80,000 people deplores “any form of racism and discrimination” and said the violent incident would be “dealt with accordingly”.
“We stand with the Asian community and all who feel threatened by this event,” he added.
Davis, who is being held at Monroe County jail, has also been charged with aggravated battery.
Hate crimes against Asian people also soared in the UK at the peak of the pandemic, following the virus’s initial outbreak in China in late 2019 and early 2020.