DETECTIVES investigating the fatal stabbing of a 16-year-old schoolgirl on a bus have issued a picture of the suspect as they appealed for witnesses to come forward.
Post-mortem tests have revealed that the teenager died from a single stab wound to the chest following the attack on the number 9 bus during the morning rush-hour.
Police have urged anyone who saw the man, who was also carrying a white bag, between 6am and 1pm yesterday, to contact them.
They have also appealed for any passengers who were travelling on the bus who they have not yet spoken to to contact them.
Sixteen people are believed to have been travelling on the bus when the stabbing happened, but only half have so far spoken to police.
A 22-year-old man arrested near the scene yesterday is continuing to be questioned by detectives this morning on suspicion of murder. Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the stabbing.
Detectives are investigating whether the “bright and popular” student was targeted in a random attack.
Extra police officers were patrolling public transport in the city this morning to reassure commuters.
Detective Superintendent Richard Baker, of West Midlands Police, said: “We know there are a number of passengers who were on the bus yesterday morning when Christina was attacked while she was sitting upstairs.
“Some of these passengers were sitting downstairs on the bus and they haven’t yet spoken to police.
“They may not even have known what happened but may have vital evidence, and it is crucial they contact us as soon as possible on 101.
“Yesterday’s events were truly tragic and it’s extremely important everyone comes forward and speaks to us. We will also be able to signpost them to professional agencies who can help them come to terms with being witness to such a tragedy.”
A woman claiming to have witnessed the attack on the bus said she waited for the girl’s attacker to get off the vehicle before performing CPR on the teenager.
Writing on Facebook, Stephanie Bent said: “I was on that bus i knew what he had done and he was stood next to me when he was getting off, all i could think of was i hope he gets off this stop so i can go upstairs and help the girl.
“Thankfully he got off and i was able to go upstairs and help the girl as best i could i gave CPR until medics arrived and am deeply traumatised i could not save her, i certainly wasn’t going to confront a knifeman knowing he had just stabbed someone i thought me may stab me too all i cared about was getting up to the girl to help.”