By Dave Collins Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. — A Hartford police officer responding to a downtown disturbance was stabbed repeatedly in the neck and critically injured Thursday morning by a woman who was being evicted from an apartment building, authorities said.

The veteran female officer was in critical condition and undergoing surgery at Hartford Hospital, Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley said.

The suspect, a 39-year-old woman, was in custody at a hospital, where she was being treated for a stab wound to her hand, Foley said. She could be charged with attempted murder, he said. It’s unclear how she was injured.

The names of the officer and the suspect have not been released.

Two officers were initially dispatched to the apartment building shortly before 10 a.m. for a landlord-tenant dispute. The female officer was in the suspect’s apartment when the suspect grabbed her in a headlock and repeatedly stabbed her in the neck, Foley said.

Two building maintenance workers who pulled the suspect off the officer, Foley said. The workers were “stressed out” after the stabbing and also needed medical attention, he said.

Foley said the officer suffered “life-threatening, life-altering” injuries.

“She’s tough,” Foley said. “She’s been here a long time. Everyone loves her.”

Police Chief David Rosado said the officer has been on the force for 12 years.

“This is obviously a difficult day for law enforcement,” Rosado said. “It’s a bleak reminder that it’s a tough job and that it can go awry pretty quickly.”

Mayor Luke Bronin agreed and said the violent incident was a reminder of the risks law enforcement officers face every day.

“We are all so grateful for their service, for what they do to keep us safe and today I hope everyone will join us in saying their prayers for this officer and for her family,” he said.

A suspect is in custody after a Hartford officer was stabbed in the neck, and thousands are still without power after 4 tornadoes hit Connecticut. Here’s what we’re following right now. pic.twitter.com/dsfJhYmYOb

— WTNH News 8 (@WTNH) May 17, 2018

UPDATE: Hartford police say female officer in critical condition after being stabbed in the neck at apartment building https://t.co/e5WoszwSjk pic.twitter.com/Bdvte3eU9A

— NBC Connecticut (@NBCConnecticut) May 17, 2018

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