Two Asian women were stabbed in San Francisco’s Chinatown neighborhood Tuesday, one of whom is 85 years old. A suspect has been arrested and charges are pending, CBS San Francisco affiliate KPIX reports. It was not immediately clear if the women were targeted because of their race.
The affiliate has identified the 85-year-old victim as Chui Fong Eng, whose grandson, Drew Eng, spoke exclusively to reporter Betty Yu. He said his grandmother had been grocery shopping and was waiting for the bus on Market Street when the attack happened.
He said she was “attacked from behind and stabbed through the arm and into the chest.” Eng said his grandmother has lived in San Francisco for 50 years and nothing like this has ever happened to her.
“You just don’t think it’s going to happen so close to home until it does. So you just got to be super aware of your loved ones,” he said.
The grandmother and a second victim, a 65-year-old woman, both underwent surgery at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital Tuesday evening.
“She didn’t know the other victim, and they were both at the bus stop and both stabbed there,” Eng said. “I think the other lady was stabbed first.”
The stabbing happened just before 5 p.m in front of several witnesses. “The assailant walked up to their victim stabbed them and very casually walked away in broad daylight,” witness Jenny Shao told KPIX.
“He got a knife on his right-hand side and he was holding it really tight like he wanted to do something,” another witness said. “And before you know he was behind this lady with a black jacket and you saw all the feathers go flying, so he sliced her, she screamed.”
On Tuesday, San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney posted several updates about the attack on Twitter, calling it “disgusting and horrific.”
“Both of the victims are out of surgery and stable,” he tweeted on Tuesday night. “Their families are with them at the hospital. I am reaching out to the families and victims to offer support.”
District Attorney Chesa Boudin also tweeted about the incident on Tuesday: “Heartbroken tonight for two elderly AAPI victims of a stabbing on Market. We’re awaiting more info & praying for the victims as they undergo medical treatment,” he wrote, adding: “We will not tolerate brutal attacks like this.”
CBS News has reached out to the San Francisco Police Department for updates on the suspect’s charges and whether or not they are investigating this as a hate crime.