An 18-year-old Indiana University student was hospitalized after a woman stabbed her multiple times on a bus near the university’s campus, in an attack authorities are calling racially motivated.
According to Bloomington police, first responders were dispatched to a bus stop on W. 4th Street and the B-Line Trail around 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday on reports of an assault with injuries.
The 18-year-old victim, an Asian student at Indiana University, told investigators she was standing and waiting for the exit doors to open on a Bloomington Transit bus when another passenger, 54-year-old Billie Davis, began striking her in the head, Bloomington police said in a release.
Davis stabbed the victim multiple times in the head with a folding knife, reportedly saying it “would be one less person to blow up our country.”
The 56-year-old woman and the female student didn’t interact prior to the vicious attack, bus surveillance footage shows.
A witness who also was riding the bus followed the woman’s attacker and contacted police, who later arrested Davis.
Court documents show Davis admitted to targeting the teen because of her race, according to WNDU-TV. Davis has been charged with attempted murder, a level 1 felony, as well as aggravated battery.
She is being held in the Monroe County Jail on a $1,000 cash bond.
The victim was treated at a hospital for multiple stab wounds. Her name was not released.
“This week, Bloomington was sadly reminded that anti-Asian hate is real and can have painful impacts on individuals and our community,” Indiana University Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs James Wimbush said in a statement. “No one should face harassment or violence due to their background, ethnicity or heritage. Instead, the Bloomington and IU communities are stronger because of the vast diversity of identities and perspectives that make up our campus and community culture.”
Bloomington is in southern Indiana. Mayor John Hamilton called behavior like the bus attack “not acceptable” and said it will be “dealt with accordingly.”
“We know when a racially motivated incident like this resonates throughout the community, it can leave us feeling less safe,” Hamilton said in a statement Saturday. “We stand with our Asian community and all who feel threatened by this event.”
In recent years, Asian Americans have increasingly been the target of racially motivated harassment and assaults, especially after the start of the coronavirus pandemic. A report from Stop AAPI Hate released in 2021 showed that 9,000 instances of anti-Asian hate crimes had been reported since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.