Woman fatally stabbed at public library was an aspiring doctor

A woman stabbed to death while sitting in a Massachusetts public library was an aspiring doctor who was beloved in the community.

Deane Stryker, 22, was in the reading room of the Winchester Public Library on Saturday morning when Jeffrey Yao approached her from behind and allegedly stabbed her in the upper torso and head with a 10-inch hunting knife, according to the Middlesex County District Attorney's office.

She suffered about 20 stab wounds in the attack, officials say.

Prosecutor Marian Ryan said at a news conference that Stryker staggered toward the front door and several people tried to help her, including a 77-year-old man who was also stabbed in the arm by Yao.

He is expected to survive.

16 PHOTOS
Deane Stryker stabbing investigation
See Gallery
Deane Stryker stabbing investigation
WINCHESTER, MA - FEBRUARY 24: Children pass by a police vehicle and crime scene tape outside the Winchester Public Library, the scene of a fatal stabbing, on Feb. 24, 2018. Jeffrey Yao, 23, was was taken into custody and accused of stabbing 22-year-old Deane Kenny Stryker some 20 times with a 10-inch hunting knife and wounding a 77-year-old man as he and other patrons restrained him until Winchester police arrived. (Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WOBURN, MA - FEBRUARY 26: Deputies with the Middlesex Sheriff's Office escort Jeffrey Yao from Woburn District Court in Woburn, MA more than three hours after his arraignment on charges of murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on Feb. 26, 2018. Yao is accused of stabbing 22-year-old Deane Kenny Stryker some 20 times with a 10-inch hunting knife and for wounding a 77-year-old man as he and other patrons restrained him until Winchester police arrived. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINCHESTER, MA - FEBRUARY 24: People stand outside the entrance of the Winchester Public Library in Winchester, MA, the scene of a fatal stabbing, on Feb. 24, 2018. Jeffrey Yao, 23, was was taken into custody and accused of stabbing 22-year-old Deane Kenny Stryker some 20 times with a 10-inch hunting knife and wounding a 77-year-old man as he and other patrons restrained him until Winchester police arrived. (Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINCHESTER, MA - FEBRUARY 25: People embrace as they walk to the front of the church to hang peace cranes on branches in a moment of community reflection during services at Winchester Unitarian Society in Winchester, MA on Feb. 25, 2018. United in grief, hundreds gathered Sunday at the Winchester Unitarian Society to mourn a young woman fatally stabbed Saturday morning as she sat reading in the towns public library. A spokeswoman for Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan identified the victim Sunday evening as 22-year-old Deane Kenny Stryker, who was a Winchester High School graduate studying at the University of New Englands College of Osteopathic Medicine. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WOBURN, MA - FEBRUARY 26: Deputies with the Middlesex Sheriff's Office escort Jeffrey Yao from Woburn District Court in Woburn, MA more than three hours after his arraignment on charges of murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on Feb. 26, 2018. Yao is accused of stabbing 22-year-old Deane Kenny Stryker some 20 times with a 10-inch hunting knife and for wounding a 77-year-old man as he and other patrons restrained him until Winchester police arrived. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINCHESTER, MA - FEBRUARY 25: A cleaning crew steam cleans the area where a woman was fatally stabbed at the Winchester Public Library in Winchester, MA on Feb. 25, 2018. Jeffrey Yao, 23, is accused of stabbing 22-year-old Deane Kenny Stryker some 20 times with a 10-inch hunting knife and for wounding a 77-year-old man as he and other patrons restrained him until Winchester police arrived. (Photo by Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WOBURN, MA - FEBRUARY 26: Deputies with the Middlesex Sheriff's Office escort Jeffrey Yao from Woburn District Court in Woburn, MA more than three hours after his arraignment on charges of murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on Feb. 26, 2018. Yao is accused of stabbing 22-year-old Deane Kenny Stryker some 20 times with a 10-inch hunting knife and for wounding a 77-year-old man as he and other patrons restrained him until Winchester police arrived. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WOBURN, MA - FEBRUARY 26: A.D.A. Kate Cimini, who is handling the case, is pictured outside Woburn District Court in Woburn, MA on the day of the arraignment of Jeffrey Yao on charges of murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on Feb. 26, 2018. Yao is accused of stabbing 22-year-old Deane Kenny Stryker some 20 times with a 10-inch hunting knife and for wounding a 77-year-old man as he and other patrons restrained him until Winchester police arrived. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINCHESTER, MA - FEBRUARY 25: A makeshift memorial sits in the lawn of the Winchester Public Library as a cleaning crew steam cleans the area where a woman was fatally stabbed in Winchester, MA on Feb. 25, 2018. Jeffrey Yao, 23, is accused of stabbing 22-year-old Deane Kenny Stryker some 20 times with a 10-inch hunting knife and for wounding a 77-year-old man as he and other patrons restrained him until Winchester police arrived. (Photo by Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINCHESTER, MA - FEBRUARY 24: The home of Jeffrey Yao, the suspect taken into custody in a fatal stabbing at the Winchester Public Library, is pictured in Winchester, MA on Feb. 24, 2018. Yao, 23, was was taken into custody and accused of stabbing 22-year-old Deane Kenny Stryker some 20 times with a 10-inch hunting knife and wounding a 77-year-old man as he and other patrons restrained him until Winchester police arrived. (Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WOBURN, MA - FEBRUARY 26: Defense attorney J.W. Carney, Jr. speaks to the media after the arraignment of Jeffrey Yao on charges of murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in Woburn District Court in Woburn, MA on Feb. 26, 2018. Yao is accused of stabbing 22-year-old Deane Kenny Stryker some 20 times with a 10-inch hunting knife and for wounding a 77-year-old man as he and other patrons restrained him until Winchester police arrived. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINCHESTER, MA - FEBRUARY 25: As the children who were in attendance gathered at the front of the church, members of the Winchester Unitarian Society raise their hands to indicate that they seek to do good in the world during services at Winchester Unitarian Society in Winchester, MA on Feb. 25, 2018. United in grief, hundreds gathered Sunday at the Winchester Unitarian Society to mourn a young woman fatally stabbed Saturday morning as she sat reading in the towns public library. A spokeswoman for Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan identified the victim Sunday evening as 22-year-old Deane Kenny Stryker, who was a Winchester High School graduate studying at the University of New Englands College of Osteopathic Medicine. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WOBURN, MA - FEBRUARY 26: Defense attorney J.W. Carney, Jr. speaks to the media after the arraignment of Jeffrey Yao on charges of murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in Woburn District Court in Woburn, MA on Feb. 26, 2018. Yao is accused of stabbing 22-year-old Deane Kenny Stryker some 20 times with a 10-inch hunting knife and for wounding a 77-year-old man as he and other patrons restrained him until Winchester police arrived. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINCHESTER, MA - FEBRUARY 25: A member of the Winchester Unitarian Society lights a candle in memory of the victim of a fatal stabbing at the town library during services at Winchester Unitarian Society in Winchester, MA on Feb. 25, 2018. United in grief, hundreds gathered Sunday at the Winchester Unitarian Society to mourn a young woman fatally stabbed Saturday morning as she sat reading in the towns public library. A spokeswoman for Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan identified the victim Sunday evening as 22-year-old Deane Kenny Stryker, who was a Winchester High School graduate studying at the University of New Englands College of Osteopathic Medicine. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINCHESTER, MA - FEBRUARY 24: From left, Winchester Police Detective Lt. Daniel O'Connell, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Winchester Chief of Police Peter MacDonnell hold a press conference about a fatal stabbing at the Winchester Public Library in Winchester, MA on Feb. 24, 2018. Jeffrey Yao, 23, was was taken into custody and accused of stabbing 22-year-old Deane Kenny Stryker some 20 times with a 10-inch hunting knife and wounding a 77-year-old man as he and other patrons restrained him until Winchester police arrived. (Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINCHESTER, MA - FEBRUARY 25: Resident Cathy Frasso lays flowers at a makeshift memorial in front of the Winchester Public Library, where a woman was fatally stabbed in Winchester, MA on Feb. 25, 2018. Jeffrey Yao, 23, is accused of stabbing 22-year-old Deane Kenny Stryker some 20 times with a 10-inch hunting knife and for wounding a 77-year-old man as he and other patrons restrained him until Winchester police arrived. (Photo by Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

After the attack, several people in the library held Yao until police arrived.

Police do not have a motive for the attack. The only known connection between the suspect and victim is that Yao attended high school with Stryker, according to the Boston Globe.

As authorities investigate what led up to the attack, neighbors say they warned police about Yao in the months leading up to the attack, the Boston Herald reports.

One neighbor, who was not identified, told the outlet that he warned authorities that Yao "will kill somebody," and that he once tried to "smash our door down" at 3 a.m. late last year.

Other neighbors also claimed Yao started keying cars, slashing tires and smashing bottles in the street in recent months.

Police have not commented on these claims.

Stryker was in her first year of medical school at the University of New England.

"Deane is a special kid and overcame some real obstacles in her life. She decided early on that she wanted to be a doctor," family friend Brad Harrington told WBZ

University of New England president James Herbert said in a statement he was "shocked and saddened" by Stryker's death

Hebert said Stryker was an orientation leader and part of a student organization that provides confidential peer support to other students who need someone to turn to when they are struggling

Yao is facing charges including murder and armed assault with intent to murder and is being held without bail.

Winchester Public Library said they will be closed until at least Tuesday.

Read Full Story