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The man used the hunting knife in a brutal murder in a Massachusetts library, authorities say

Jeffrey Yao allegedly stabbed a woman to death at a public library in Massachusetts on Saturday.

(Winchester Police department via Associated Press)

A man armed with a hunting knife stabbed a woman to death on Saturday in a public library in Massachusetts, authorities said.

The suspect — identified as Jeffrey Yao, 23 — allegedly approached the 22-year-old woman from behind as she was seated at a table in the reading room of the Winchester Public Library, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said.

The blade is 10 inches long, and the suspect allegedly stabbed the woman multiple times.

During the attack, the young woman suffered injuries to her head and upper body, Ryan said. While she tried to the door, spectators reportedly tried to help her escape.

A 77-year-old man who tried to help the woman was also injured in the attack, suffering a non-life-threatening stab wound to an arm, Ryan said.

The authorities have opened an investigation into the attack and were working to determine a motive, a press release from the district attorney’s office said.

It was not clear whether Yao knew the woman, but the suspect was “known to the police,” Ryan said. The woman’s identity was withheld until her family could be notified, she added.

The defendant was charged with murder and armed assault with intent to murder, the press release said. He was being held without bail and was expected to appear before the court Monday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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