Deane Stryker, a first-year student at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, was fatally stabbed Saturday at a public library in Winchester, Massachusetts. She was 22.
Stryker had been reading or studying in the library when 23-year-old Jeffrey Yao allegedly approached her from behind and stabbed her multiple times, according to news reports. Despite bystander efforts to assist Stryker, she succumbed to the wounds later in a hospital.
Yao, who also allegedly stabbed a 77-year-old library patron in the arm, was subsequently arraigned on charges of first-degree murder and ordered held without bail, according to MassLive.
Both Stryker and Yao attended the same Massachusetts high school, but it’s unclear whether they knew each other.
The tight-knit UNECOM community has been shaken by this loss.
“Deane was loved and respected by her fellow students, as well as the faculty and professional staff members who knew her,” a UNECOM staffer posted to its Facebook page on Tuesday. “Despite the rigors of medical school, Deane never hesitated to reach out to those who needed her support. She knew how to be present and really listen to people. It is these qualities that would have made her an exceptional physician, and her death is a loss for the patients she would have cared for.”
Stryker was an advocate for domestic violence and mental health awareness who had served as an orientation leader and as a member of an UNE peer support organization, noted UNE President James Herbert in a statement.
“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,” Herbert said.