LONG ISLAND CITY, Queens (PIX11) — A man attacked a woman with a hammer before stealing her purse at the Queens Plaza subway station Thursday night, police said Friday.

NYPD officials held a press conference on the incident Friday afternoon.

Chief of Detectives James Essig said the investigation is still in its early stages.

He said the robber followed the woman to the subway entrance, approached the victim from behind and then kicked her down the stairs. The man then brandished a hammer and hit the woman on the head several times before running away with her purse. The woman attempted to defend herself during the assault.

Video of the attack was taken, but is too graphic to share publicly.

The victim suffered a fractured skull and lacerations to her head, Essig said. She is also bleeding from her brain. She was taken by EMS to a hospital, where authorities reported her to be in critical condition.

“This was an unprovoked attack,” Essig said. “[She] was just trying to get home after a day’s work.”

Transit Chief Jason Wilcox said the Queens Plaza station is “an important station” given its high traffic. Because of this, it “receives additional coverage” from police.

“In terms of our focus, we are working very hard to keep subways safe,” he said.

Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).