File Photo (Jay Wallace Images)

Victoria Police are searching for witnesses after a 71-year-old woman was stabbed in downtown Victoria.

At around 11 a.m. on Friday, March 13th, police responded to reports of a senior woman who was stabbed in the back while walking in the 900-block of Yates Street.

According to police, the suspect is a woman who had been panhandling at the time and stabbed the victim after she refused to give her money twice.

At first the 71-year-old woman thought she had been punched in the back, but after discovering that she was bleeding, drove herself to the hospital.

The suspect is believed to be an Indigenous woman between 20-25 years old, standing approximately 5’7″ tall, with a slim to medium build.

She was described as having short black hair, a round face, dark eyes, and missing her top front teeth.

At the time of the incident, she was wearing a dark hoodie with the hood up, all dark clothing, possibly a dark toque. and had clothing covering her hands. Reports say the suspect was crying right before committing the assault.

Officers are now asking any passersby who may have witnessed the incident to step forward and help identify the suspect.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the VicPD non emergency line at (250) 995-7654.

If you see the suspect, please call 911. To report what you know anonymously, call Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.