Published: Thu, March 01, 2018
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Medical student fatally stabbed in random attack while studying in library

Medical student fatally stabbed in random attack while studying in library

A MA man wielding a 10-inch hunting knife entered a reading room at Winchester Library and brutally stabbed a woman to death in a completely "random attack", his lawyer said.

The suspect, Jeffery Yao, 23, of Winchester, approached the woman and stabbed her multiple times with a 10-inch hunting knife at a library reading room table, Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan said at a news conference. Winchester is about 20 minutes north of Boston. The woman reportedly tried to get away but only staggered toward the door while others tried to help her.

One bystander, a 77-year-old man, was also injured in the attack, suffering a non-life-threatening stab wound to an arm, Ryan said. Ryan noted that Yao was "known to police". The police station is across the street from the library.

Taber is expected to fully recover from his injury.

Yao has now been charged with murder and attempted murder with a unsafe weapon. Yao's neighbours told the Boston Herald that his behaviour "was increasingly erratic", while some added they were anxious he "will kill somebody". "She was one of the most genuine, happy, and open people that I've ever met", said medical student Ben Thomas.

One resident said that in light of last week's mass shooting at a public high school in Florida, the stabbing was "very unsettling". "I can't believe this", a neighbor who did not want to be identified told the Herald. "The library is such a peaceful place".

Yao, now being held without bail following his arraignment on Monday in Woburn District Court, is scheduled for a probable cause hearing on April 11. Officials do not yet know whether or not he knew the woman, or if he carried out the attack randomly.

Ann Wirtanen, the Winchester Public Library's director, released a statement on social media following the attack.

"My client's parents feel devastated about the death of that young woman who was totally blameless and my client's family is devastated that after years of dealing with his mental illness he commits this act".

The Winchester Public Library will remain closed until at least Tuesday while police conduct an investigation. "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts".

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