UNE President: Student's Stabbing Death Leaves School Community 'Shocked And Saddened'

Feb 27, 2018

A first-year medical student at the University of New England was stabbed to death Saturday in a reading room at a Massachusetts public library.

Police say 22-year-old Deane "Kenny" Stryker was at a table at the Winchester Public Library in Winchester, Mass., when Jeffrey Yao, 23, came up from behind and stabbed her multiple times with a 10-inch hunting knife. 

Stryker was pronounced dead at a hospital. 

This photo provided by Winchester Police Department shows Jeffrey Yao.
Credit Winchester Police Department / via The Associated Press

Yao has been charged with murder and is being held without bail.  Both he and Stryker attended Winchester High School at the same time, but it's unclear whether they knew each other, and the motive is under investigation. 

Yao's attorney says his client has severe mental illness. 

The University of New England has campuses in Biddeford and Portland.  In a statement posted on UNE's Facebook page, President James Herbert said he was "shocked and saddened" to learn of Stryker's death. "We send our deepest condolences to Deane’s family and friends, who are facing an unthinkable tragedy."

Herbert says Stryker was a first-year student in the school's College of Osteopathic Medicine. "Deane 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," he says.

The dean of UNE's College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Jane Carreiro, says Stryker made a big impact on her classmates in the short time she was with them.

"Deane was one of those people who could take people out of their shell, or perceive that they were having difficulty and reach out to them and make them feel like they could confide in her," Carreiro says.

Carreiro says students held a vigil Sunday night, and there will likely be more remembrances for Stryker in the future.

Authorities say several people tried to help Stryker during the attack, including a 77-year-old man who was also stabbed. Ryan says the man is expected to survive.
Yao is scheduled to appear in court Monday.

This story was updated Feb. 26, 2018 at 12:07 p.m. ET.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.