The suspect, who used a box cutter and was wearing surgical mask, was still at large Thursday morning

By Tim Nudd
December 17, 2015 08:45 AM
NBC New York

A 16-year-old foreign exchange student from China was slashed in the face by an unknown assailant Wednesday morning as she walked to school in Queens, New York, police confirm to PEOPLE.

The student, whose name was not made public, was walking east on 13th Avenue near 147th Street in the Whitestone neighborhood at around 8:20 a.m. when she was attacked. The incident was caught on a local security camera.

“She’s slashed in her face, twice,” Robert K. Boyce, the New York Police Department’s chief of detectives, tells The New York Times. “Once from her ear to her throat, to the middle of her throat, and another part of the face as well.”

The attack “came out of nowhere,” Boyce added.

The girl’s injuries were not considered life-threatening. The attacker, who was wearing a surgical mask during the attack, has not yet been apprehended, the NYPD tells PEOPLE early Thursday.

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“This is terrible,” the girl’s aunt, who was said to be her guardian, told the New York Post. “She was on the way to school, only an eight-minute walk, when she was attacked. She was carrying a cup of hot chocolate.”

The aunt said the girl’s wounds were “so deep. There was so much blood We hope he gets caught.”

The girl was treated at LIJ Children’s Hospital. An employee there told the Post that the injuries could have been much worse.

“She could have died,” the employee said. “She is going to be OK. She is not going to die. She got hurt.”

The suspect was said to be possibly in his 20s and wearing a surgical mask, white gloves and a gray hooded sweatshirt with black stripes on the sleeves.