SPRING VALLEY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Rockland County community is in shock after the murder of a woman who recently became a grandmother.
Friends say she was the kind of lady who greeted everyone with a smile and was kind to every person who walked through the doors. They can’t imagine who would want to hurt her, and they can’t believe this happened in a place they assumed was so safe.
A quiet prayer and a promise were made outside Finkelstein Memorial Library on Tuesday night for a beloved friend who lost her life inside while she was on the job.
“Devastated and dismayed and in shock,” said Christine Ball, a friend and co-worker.
“I wasn’t expecting this kind of news. I’m so sad,” friend Yvonne Smith told CBS2’s Jessica Layton.
Who would want to kill Sandra Wilson? The mother, grandmother and library security guard was stabbed to death at Finkelstein Memorial Library on the job today. Police caught suspect but not saying anything about motive yet. @CBSNewYork pic.twitter.com/XLKEmCOk7c
— Jessica Layton (@JLaytonTV) February 19, 2020
Stunned co-workers of Wilson left flowers, candles and messages of peace after the 52-year-old was violently killed, stabbed to death on the third floor of the library where she was working as a security guard.
“Everybody was in chaos and panic,” one witness said.
Witnesses who did not want to be identified told CBS2’s Tony Aiello what happened after they saw the suspect charging toward the victim, then stabbing her.
“We ran after him and by the staircase in the back, we held him down. He was screaming, ‘let me out, let me go.’ We just held him down until the cops arrived,” one witness said.
Co-workers were kneeling down around Wilson, yelling her name before a volunteer ambulance squad arrived.
“You’ll make it, they were assuring her that she’ll be making it,” one witness said. “When they took her, there was no pulse anymore.”
Friends say she lived on North Main Street in town with her children and just became a grandmother.
“She’s a wonderful lady. She’s very nice, she’s helpful. She’s generous,” one woman said. “I don’t know, but whoever did it, I hope they get punished real good.”
Without any idea who would want to hurt her, they now fear for their own lives in the community gathering space.
“I work here and I don’t feel safe. It can happen to anybody,” co-worker Roseline Willis said.
Police haven’t identified the suspect yet, but they say he is 25 years old. He was seen being escorted out of the library in handcuffs after he was caught.
The library closed after the tragedy Tuesday and employees say it will be closed again Wednesday.