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Community Mourns 22-Year-Old Woman Killed in Winchester Public Library Double Stabbing

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The community is mourning the loss of Deane Kenny Stryker, the woman killed in a double stabbing at a Massachusetts library.

Revered Heather Janules led a service for Kenney Stryker Sunday morning at the Winchester Unitarian Society, remembering her life and trying to make sense of the situation.

From the people who knew her, to the people who just wanted to say goodbye, many have made the lawn in front of the Winchester Public Library a tribute to her life.

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"She was a wonderful friend to my daughter and a compassionate, loving person. Probably one of the nicest people I’ve ever met," said one woman who knew Kenny Stryker.

Close family friend Brad Harrington said Kenny Stryker was a "special kid."

"She’s overcome some you know real obstacles in her life," said Harrington.

NBC10 Boston learned from sources Sunday night that Kenny Stryker is the daugter of Dr. Timothy Stryker, who was questioned in the 1993 death of his girlfriend.

Kenny Stryker was a first year student in the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine.

"She decided early on that she wanted to be a doctor," Harrington said.

UNE President James Herbert released a statement on Sunday, saying in part, "The University of New England community was shocked and saddened to learn of the death of one of our students, Deane 'Kenny' Stryker, who was killed on Saturday. We send our deepest condolences to Deane’s family and friends, who are facing an unthinkable tragedy."

Herbert's statement went on to say Kenny Stryker was "just beginning her journey toward becoming a physician, and showed great promise as a student doctor who was passionate about medicine and helping others."

Kenny Stryker was an advocate for domestic violence and mental health awareness, and an active member of her college community, according to Herbert's statement.

The 22-year-old also served as an orientation leader, and was part of a student organization that provides confidential peer support to other students who need a place to turn when they are struggling.

Kenny Stryker died from her injuries sustained in the attack that took place at about 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Winchester Public Library, police said.

"What a wonderful person she is," added the woman whose daughter was friends with Kenny Stryker. "What a terrible loss Winchester has because we lost such a beautiful young lady."

Family friends describe Kenny Stryker as a hard worker who was a role model for her two younger sisters and say she was known to comfort those around her. It's just one of the many things about her that will be missed, they say.

"Everybody was just so proud of her," said Harrington. "She was just a remarkable kid."

A second victim, identified only as a 77-year-old Winchester man, remains hospitalized from injuries he suffered during the attack. Police said the man's injuries are non life-threatening and that he was attempting to help Kenny Stryker while the suspect attacked her. 

The man taken into custody has been identified as Jeffrey Yao, 23, of Winchester. According to police, Yao stabbed both victims with a 10-inch hunting blade. Yao was previously known to police.

NBC10 Boston spoke to a witness who was coming out of a bathroom when the incident occurred.

"It just sounded like chaos, it just sounded like absolute bedlam," he told NBC Boston. "It was overlapping shouts and screams."

Both victims were transported to an area hospital following the stabbing.

The 77-year-old victim was treated for a stab wound to his arm.

Kenny Stryker had suffered numerous stab wounds to her head and upper torso. She died at the hospital from her injuries, according to police. 

Investigators said Kenny Stryker was sitting at a table when the suspect allegedly approached her unprovoked and stabbed her multiple times.

According to the police, she tried to make her way to the front lobby to escape. A number of patrons came to her aid, at which point the 77-year-old victim was also stabbed, police said.

Authorities are investigating possible motives for the attack.

Friends say Kenny Stryker and Yao both attended Winchester High School, though whether they knew each other remains unclear.

Neighbors of the suspect immediately identified Yao after seeing his picture, telling reporters that he previously attempted to break into homes and cause damage to property.

Nicole Luongo, one of Yao's neighbors, said that people in the neighborhood had previously gone to police with concerns.

"We fear for our neighborhood," she said.

Luongo says knowing Yao is locked up eases her fears, but she wishes Saturday's events could have been prevented.

"I was afraid that he would come," she told NBC10 Boston, "I would sleep with a bat under my bed."

Peter Luongo says Yao lived with his parents nearby for years but that he started behaving erraticaly last summer.

Yao is charged with murder and assault with attempt to murder. He is being held without bail pending his arraignment in Woburn District Court on Monday. It’s unclear if he has an attorney.

The Winchester Public Library, where flowers have turned into a growing memorial out front, will remain closed until Tuesday.

The University of New England will have support staff on hand this week to provide counseling to any students who need it.

The incident remains under investigation by the Middlesex District Attorney's Office.

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