Jeffrey Yao attacked a woman in a public library near Boston with a hunting knife, killing her. Picture: Winchester Police Department
Jeffrey Yao attacked a woman in a public library near Boston with a hunting knife, killing her. Picture: Winchester Police Department

Woman stabbed to death in library

A MAN attacked a woman from behind at a public library near Boston on Saturday and stabbed her repeatedly with a hunting knife, killing her and injuring an elderly man who came to her aid, authorities said.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said the 22-year-old woman was studying or doing work at a table in the Winchester Public Library's reading room when 23-year-old Jeffrey Yao attacked her with a 10-inch knife, according to the New York Post.

Winchester Public Library where the stabbing occurred. Picture: Google Maps
Winchester Public Library where the stabbing occurred. Picture: Google Maps

The woman suffered numerous slash and stab wounds to her head and upper torso, Ms Ryan said before staggering toward the door. Several people tried to help her, including a 77-year-old man who also was stabbed in the arm. He is expected to survive, Ms Ryan said.

The district attorney said authorities are working to determine a possible motive and whether Yao and the woman knew each other.

Ms Ryan said Yao was "known to police," but declined to elaborate in her statement.

Yao is charged with murder and armed assault with intent to murder and is being held without bail until he appears in court on Monday.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan gives her statement about the murder. Picture: Boston 25 News
Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan gives her statement about the murder. Picture: Boston 25 News

A phone number for him could not be found and it was not immediately clear whether he had an lawyer.

The woman's identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Russ Ganz told The Boston Globe that he was walking by around 11am when he saw a woman being taken out of the library on a stretcher. Mr Ganz said the woman, who was upright and conscious, appeared to have injuries to her shoulder.

"I thought somebody fell down the stairs," he told the newspaper.

According to the Boston Globe, neighbours who lived near Yao knew he was a threat and had alerted authorities to his violent behaviour, which included smashing windows and slamming himself against neighbours' doors.

"We knew something would happen," Leslie Luongo, who lives nearby, told the Globe. "We didn't know when."

Winchester is an affluent and picturesque New England town. Picture: Wikipedia
Winchester is an affluent and picturesque New England town. Picture: Wikipedia

One neighbour called the police and Yao was arrested over an incident in which he hurled a deck chair at the neighbour's door.

When a court official called the man, who wishes to remain anonymous, about the case, he told the official then that Yao was a danger, saying: "He is going to kill somebody."

But police told neighbours not to worry about Yao as he was on their "watch list" and they were shadowing him at night when he went out.

Winchester is a small and picturesque suburban New England town located just 14 kilometres north of downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It is an affluent municipality and is a bedroom community for professionals who work in Boston.

 

This article first appeared in the New York Post and is republished with permission.



Local Partners