Winchester Public Library Reopens Days After Fatal Stabbing of College Student

Three days after a medical student was stabbed to death inside a Massachusetts library, grief counselors were on hand for staff as they try to move forward from the tragedy.

Many of the employees of the Winchester Public Library were inside Saturday morning when 22-year-old Deane Kenny Stryker, of Winchester, was stabbed multiple times.

Grief counselors were brought in to help the staff who witnessed the vicious attack that the Middlesex District Attorney's office said was carried out by 23-year-old Jeffrey Yao.

According to court documents, Stryker was sitting at a table when she was stabbed by Yao 20 times in the head and upper torso area. She was taken to an area hospital where she later died.

At Yao's arraignment Monday, defense attorney J.W. Carney, called Yao a troubled young man with a serious history of mental illness.

"It's been a very troubled existence. His mental illness has often been quite apparent and he's had a lot of contact with the Winchester police over the years," Carney said.

Authorities said several people at the library tried to intervene, including a 77-year-old man who was stabbed in the arm. 

Winchester Public Library Director Ann Wirtanen said the staff wished that they could have done more to help Stryker, who was a first-year student at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine.

"It all happened so quickly, so quickly. You know you’re working on your computer one minute and the next you’re gone," said Wirtanen. "So, we are all very very saddened by this. And we hope people come back."

The library was scheduled to reopen at 1 p.m. Tuesday. As an added measure of security, police planned to be at the library to make patrons feel safe.

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