Police are hoping surveillance video released to the public Tuesday evening may help lead them to the suspect in a fatal stabbing  that took place near Toronto’s Cabbagetown district earlier in the day.

The stabbing took place at about 7 a.m. in a laneway off of Ontario Street, near Carlton and Parliament Streets.  Police believe the woman was walking home from work at the time of the attack.

Surveillance cameras recorded footage of the woman waking with an umbrella as the male suspect followed about 10 seconds behind her, reaching into his jacket for what investigators believe was a knife. The footage was taken just before she was stabbed once in the arm and a few times in the torso.

Toronto police Det. Gary Giroux said the attack appeared to be unprovoked.

“It’s frightening and it’s something that we’re obviously going to be spending a tremendous amount of resources trying to find out who is responsible,” he told reporters Tuesday.

Witness Paul Down said he was nearby when he heard the victim screaming.

“(The assailant) started stabbing her repeatedly while she was screaming. My buddy fought him off with an umbrella,” he told CTV Toronto.

Down said the assailant fled south on Ontario Street, before running west on Carlton.

Little information has been released about the woman, who paramedics believe is 55 years old.

The suspect has been described as a white man, standing about 5-feet, 10-inches tall. He was last spotted wearing dark clothing and a cap. Police said he may have blood stains on his clothing.

Investigators are encouraging anyone with information to contact police.

With reports from CTV Toronto’s John Musselman and Tamara Cherry