A suspect has been arrested in the stabbing of two senior women in downtown San Francisco at Fourth and Stockton streets Tuesday, police said.
The suspect in the attack, 54-year-old Patrick Thompson, has been booked into San Francisco County Jail on two charges of attempted murder and elder abuse.
Police allege Thompson approached the two women from behind Tuesday around 4:51 p.m., and stabbed them both several times. He then fled on foot, before being located and arrested by San Francisco Police Department officers from Tenderloin Station around 7 p.m. the same day on the 600 block of Eddy Street.
Both women, ages 85 and 63, were transported to the hospital for treatment of their injuries. The elder of the two victims was initially being treated for life-threatening injuries, but following surgery her medical status has been upgraded and she is expected to survive, according to police. The other victim sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
Victoria Eng, the granddaughter of one of the victims, 85-year-old Chui Fong Eng, confirmed that her grandmother was in stable condition and recovering in the intensive care unit as of Wednesday afternoon.
“She is coherent and speaking on the phone already,” Eng said. “She is a true fighter.”
Eng and her brother set up a GoFundMe to cover the expenses from their grandmother’s surgery. Eng wrote in the fundraiser description that her grandmother was waiting at the bus stop when she was stabbed with a long knife in her right arm, and it entered into her chest.
Eng fears the attack was racially motivated, as her grandmother and the other victim of the stabbing are both Asian.
“These Asian hate crimes need to stop,” Eng wrote in the fundraiser description. “Our hearts go out to all those who have been injured, killed or affected by this wave of racist crimes toward the Asian community. San Francisco is my home and my Grandma’s home. We need to feel safe where we live and not in constant fear.”
At the Police Commission meeting Wednesday evening, however, Police Chief Bill Scott said there is no indication thus far that the incident was a hate crime or otherwise motivated by bias.
Supervisor Matt Haney, who represents the area where the attack occurred, called it “disgusting and horrific” on Twitter.
“Nothing more sickening than stabbing an 85-year-old woman while she waits for the bus,” Haney wrote.
District Attorney Chesa Boudin condemned the attack and said his office expected to have a charging decision by Thursday, with arraignment likely to take place by Friday.
“Now more than ever, we must stand in unwavering support of the AAPI community, which has been victimized by senseless violence, racism, and hatred over the past year and beyond,” Boudin said in a statement. “Attacks on our AAPI community and especially on our elderly residents are horrifying, not just to the victims who suffer physical injury but to the entire AAPI community that has been living in fear. We will hold those who commit these acts of violence and hate accountable.”