A brave mum has told how she desperately tried to perform CPR on dying school girl Christina Edkins seconds after the teen was stabbed through the heart.
Stephanie Bent also revealed the killer stood just inches away from her as he waited to flee the double-decker after knifing the pretty 16-year-old.
Christina was murdered moments after she boarded the No 9 First West Midlands bus at 7.37am on Thursday in Birmingham city centre.
Police revealed the knifeman calmly waited for Christina to sit down on the top deck as it travelled along Hagley Road before attacking her in one motion.
Suspect Phillip Simelane, 22, who was arrested 100 yards from the scene five hours after the killing, is a British national with links to Walsall, West Mids.
Cops said he has no record of mental illness.
Detectives also revealed the 16 passengers on the bus heard Christina screaming for help but thought it was teenagers “messing around.”
Writing about the savage attack on Facebook, Stephanie revealed how she was forced to wait for the killer to leave the bus before she could go to the aid of Christina.
Mum-of-two Stephanie, from Birmingham, 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 I’m deeply traumatised I could not save her.”
Stephanie was forced to defend her actions after internet ghouls criticised her for not tackling the crazed killer.
She said: “All of you weren’t there so shut the hell up. Would any of you apprehend a knifeman? I don’t bloody think so.
“I certainly wasn’t going to confront a knifeman knowing he had just stabbed someone, I thought he may stab me too.
“All I cared about was getting up to the girl to help.
“I was the only person other than two other girls that actually tried helping her.”
Police yesterday released a picture from the bus’s CCTV showing the knifeman seconds after Christina was stabbed.
Wearing a dark coloured hoodie with a huge motif featuring a roaring tiger on the back, the man is seen standing with his back to the driver with his hands on the door handles.
Detective Superintendent Richard Barker, of West Midlands Police CID, said officers had only traced HALF the passengers who were on board during the “random and senseless” attack.
He said: “If you look at the pictures of Christina she is a beautiful young girl this attack appears to have been totally senseless and random.
“The dedicated officers in the investigation team are working hard to makes sure the person responsible for this is brought to justice.
“We continue to work closely with the Crown Prosecution Service over the coming hours to make sure that happens.
“It is possible the people on the bus at the time of the incident may not have realised the severity of the incident.
“We know from witnesses that although some screaming was heard immediately after the incident initially people thought it was just teenagers messing around.
“It is possible some people were not aware of what happened.
“It was on the top deck of the number 9 bus, we know there were three people on the top deck, the victim, her attacker and another male who has come forward and given a statement.
“Christina was sat in front of the attacker, he attacked her as he got off the bus.
“We are exploring a number of lines of enquiry for the motive but we are no nearer establishing that at this particular time.
“What I can say is at the moment it does look like the attack was entirely random.
“We are still trying to establish if there was a link between Christina and her attacker.
“We don’t think anything was done to provoke it.
“We know the offender was on the bus before the attack.
“He offender got up, walked past Christina and that’s when the incident took place.
“He then walked downstairs and calmly waited for the bus to stop.
“We believe the murder weapon is still outstanding at this particular time and are making efforts to try and identify and locate that.
“The picture that’s been released is the image of him getting off the bus in the moments after the stabbing.
“The offender hasn’t got any known mental health problems, there was no conversation between them at all.
“He is a British national and has connections to Walsall.”
Just four weeks before her death, Christina revealed in a chilling tweet how she had been scared by a man acting strangely on her bus.
On February 8, the teenager, who dreamed of being a nurse, said: “This man is worrying me on the bus keeps getting up and walking up and down stairs, and sitting in different places ”
Police are now scouring Christina’s social networking history to discover if the killer had stalked her in the weeks before her death.
Det Supt Barker added: “We are aware of the tweets from Christina, that is forming part of our enquiry at the moment we cannot say whether the tweets were connected.”
Suspect Philip Simelane (corr), was arrested on suspicion of murder near the scene and remained in police custody yesterday.
Passengers using the same service yesterday morning said they feared for their safety.
Tony Saunders, 58, who uses the bus three or four times a week said: “It’s scary, you just don’t know who’s going to be on the bus now.
“I’m just shocked that it could happen, really shocked. To think that on the bus I take someone could be stabbed.”
Another traveller, who wished to be only named as Indie, said she had missed the bus that Christina used by seconds.
She said: “I missed that exact bus by 10 seconds yesterday, I saw it drive off from my stop.
“I have mixed feelings about being on it, obviously I’m glad I’m wasn’t there to be attacked, but on the other hand I wonder if I could have helped if I was there.
“I have to use the bus every day to get to work, but it’s terrifying now, you don’t know what will happen.”
Another traveller on the bus Christina would have used to travel to school, who did not want to be named, said she was “nervous” about travelling again.
She added: “Who knows what you might find on a bus now, I was on an earlier bus yesterday but if it was a random attack, I mean, it could be you couldn’t it?”
Meanwhile, dozens of well-wishers and school friends left floral tributes near the scene of Christina’s death.
One moving message, addressed from ‘Ryan and Dale’, read: “To Christina, we will miss you loads you were a beautiful girl and a bundle of joy.
“Rest in Peace Cutey (sic).”
Another note read: “I didn’t know you, I was meant to be on the bus though. I wish I was there to make your final moments less painful.
“Heaven is so lucky to have such a beautiful little angel, sweet dreams princess we all love you.”