Police say Athens men attacked 2 UGA graduates, blames stress from COVID-19

Billie Boswell said she was stunned after learning about the disturbing attack at the Golden Pantry Sunday night.

"You know, what the motive was and why so violent," Boswell told us outside of the convenience store.

She said she knows both women.

"They just graduated. They're both very smart, cute, lively girls," she detailed.

Athens-Clarke County Police said Eric Keith Mitchell attacked the two recent University of Georgia graduates.

Sign up for FOX 5 email alerts

Investigators said the attack was unprovoked.

The store is located on N. Milledge Avenue near W. Broad Street.

"One female received a serious laceration on her torso, Capt. Christopher Nichols explained.. "The other received either a broken nose and/or broken jaw."

We're told he had a razor knife. Investigators said Mitchell blamed what happened on stress and concerns about COVID-19.

"Well, aren't we all. It's a little, little irrational logic there to attack some girls. Anyone could have it at this point," Boswell explained.

App users click here for live updates

Know how the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting Georgia

We spoke with a customer who was standing in the checkout line with the two women.

"The man just walked up beside them. He was like 'shut the f up'. He just kept saying that. As he was saying that, he was jugging them with whatever he had in his hand," a woman, who didn't want to be identified, explained.

Customers said the women ran out of the store but the attack continued.

Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.

"At first, I didn't know what to do," Derek Johnson said. "I thought he was into it with a guy because the way he was hammering but when I heard the girl kept hollering - that's when I realized."

Mitchell was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated battery as well as aggravated assault

The women were taken to the hospital to be treated.

RELATED: CoronavirusNOW.com, FOX launches national hub for COVID-19 news and updates.

Live map: Tracking coronavirus in Georgia