RESIDENTS at a home on Vomo Street in Lautoka are in shock after a tragic knife attack on a 21-year-old University of the South Pacific student yesterday afternoon.
The young woman, was rushed to the Lautoka Hospital after being struck several times on her arms and forehead with a cane knife by a 29-year-old man.
Witness to the brutal attack Cynthia Stewart, 42, was still visibly shaken when The Fiji Times team arrived at the scene.
She said the man involved in the knifing had been taken by the police while the woman was in a serious condition at the hospital.
Mrs Stewart had just returned home with her four-year-old daughter when they heard someone screaming.
"It was like someone hitting a stick and as I rushed and opened the door, I saw my daughter-in-law's niece being hacked with the cane knife my brother's son," she said.
The victim was on a break from studies and visiting the Stewarts when the incident happened.
Mrs Stewart said she wanted to help the victim but was afraid to do so as she feared for her four-year-old daughter's life.
She said all the while she could hear the sound of the knife as the man kept hitting the victim with the cane knife cutting her hands and when she fell, he began swinging the knife on her head.
Mrs Stewart said the attacker's elder brother, woke up and managed to wrest the knife from the attacker and hit him with an iron rod as neighbours came in to assist.
A vehicle that was passing by the Vomo St home rushed the victim to the Lautoka Hospital.
Police spokesman Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri said the attacker was in police custody and being questioned when this edition went to press.
"We are still in the process of interviewing the assailant and the victim is currently at the Lautoka Hospital undergoing emergency treatment," Insp Sokomuri said.