A knifeman fatally stabbed one woman in the neck then critically injured another, police say.
The murder took place in downtown Pittsburgh on Thursday afternoon, with the injured woman said to be in a ‘critical condition’ after ‘bleeding profusely.’
It happened outside the Burlington Coat Factory store, in front of a police officer as he checked a homeless woman sleeping under a bus shelter.
Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert said the knifeman walked around the unnamed cop as he checked on her and struck the woman with the knife.
The suspect then turned around and stabbed a second woman. She was wearing a hijab – a scarf worn by Muslim women to cover their hair, sparking fears of a possible hate crime.
But police have since told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that they believe the attack was random, rather than hate-motivated.
After the knifeman struck cops quickly jumped into action, subduing the suspect.
Chief Schubert said: ‘The officer took immediate action, got the person down on the ground, got him in custody and then immediately started first aid on female to help her out.’
The attacker was arrested at the scene and has been taken into police custody, CBS Pittsburgh reported.
Chief Schubert added: ‘We pray for the female that was stabbed, and we also want to thank the officer for being there.
‘Not just getting the (suspect), getting him in custody but helping to save a life.’
The area where the woman was stabbed has been closed off while police investigate the horrific crime.