Indiana's Asian American community is on guard after bus stabbing An 18-year-old college student was waiting to get off a city bus when another passenger struck her in the head multiple times.

Indiana's Asian American community is grieving after a bus stabbing attack

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


A brutal attack on a college student is causing fear and outrage among Indiana University's Asian American community. An 18-year-old was stabbed multiple times near a bus stop last Wednesday. The university calls it an act of anti-Asian hate. NPR's Juliana Kim reports.

JULIANA KIM, BYLINE: It was broad daylight when an 18-year-old Indiana University student was stabbed multiple times in the head with a knife. She was getting off a city bus less than a mile away from campus. University sophomore Katelyn Wo says she trembled when she heard the news because she often passes by that bus route.

KATELYN WO: The crazy thing about this crime, too, is that it happened at, like, 4 o'clock in the afternoon, which is when a lot of students' classes are just getting out.

KIM: Bloomington police say the attack was unprovoked. The suspect made it clear that race was a factor. Billie Davis, who's a 56-year-old white woman, told police she stabbed the victim because the student was, quote, "Chinese," unquote. And in her words, it would be one less person to blow up the country. She faces multiple charges, including attempted murder. A local prosecutor says Davis is not charged with a hate crime because Indiana is one of the few states that lacks such a law. But this isn't the first time Indiana's Asian community has been threatened. In 2016, another student, Yue Zhang, was attacked with a hatchet by a man who wanted to bring about an ethnic cleansing in the state. And in 1999, Won Joon Yoon was shot to death near a church by a self-proclaimed white supremacist. Attacks like these weigh heavily on the mind of Katelyn Wo and her friends.

WO: It's a really scary reminder for me that I just need to be a lot more vigilant of myself and where I am whenever I'm taking the bus or just walking out into the Bloomington community.

KIM: Wo says she and her Asian American friends have been checking in more regularly with one another since the attack. They've also begun offering car rides so they don't have to travel alone.

Juliana Kim, NPR News.

Copyright © 2023 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.