Police: woman attacks 4 random people, calls victim 'a demon'

CHICO, Calif. - One woman was arrested after Chico Police said she randomly attacked four people, including three high school students.  She reportedly called one victim a "demon."

The woman reportedly confronted a series of people Thursday morning in the area around Chico High School.

Chico Police said the suspect, 50-year-old Laura Gray of Chico, stabbed a 57-year-old woman in an alley on Citrus Avenue around 6:30 a.m.  The victim told police she had been collecting aluminum cans in the alley near the 1200 block of Citrus Avenue when she was confronted by a woman who called her a demon and attacked her.

The victim escaped and sought treatment for stab wounds to her chest and arm.  The victim reported the attack while being treated at Enloe Medical Center.  She was able to provide a general description of the suspect.  The victim was treated and released.

In the meantime, at 9:15 a.m. police received a report of a robbery near East 1st Avenue and Arcadian Avenue involving a high school student who was walking to school.  Gray allegedly hit a male Chico High School student in the head with a bottle and stole his backpack.  The boy fled to the school where he called police.

Police focused their search for the suspect in the area of East 1st and Arcadian. 

Minutes later, police received a report that two more students had been attacked by a woman who struck one of them with a large stick.  One of the students received a bruise to his cheek and scratches.

Police spotted Gray at 9:37 a.m. on Aracadian Avenue between West Sacramento Avenue and West 1st Avenue.  Police said Gray was carrying a knife.

"All of these reports happening in a short period of time apparently at random was certainly concerning for us," said Chico Police Sgt. Rob Merrifield.  "And that's why were out here trying to locate her as quickly as we could."

Gray faces two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and robbery.  Police said the stolen backpack was recovered from the suspect's apartment.

Police said the motive for the attacks is unknown.  There is no apparent link between the suspect and any of the victims.

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