SPRING VALLEY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Rockland County community is in shock after the murder of a woman who recently became a grandmother.

Sandra Wilson was killed when witnesses say a man with a knife charged into the Spring Valley library and repeatedly stabbed her.

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.

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.

Comments (5)
  1. Jean howard says:

    To the staff of finkelstein memorial library. I am truly sorry for the tragedy lost of your coworker
    I Worked at the Library for eight years from 2003 to 2011. My prayers are with all of you

  2. Chuck says:

    It’s probably sexist and ageist, and most certainly realist, but why is a grandmother a security guard?

    1. Gina Maria Littlebird says:

      ‘grandmother’ doesn’t mean ‘feeble’. We have a friend who became a grandmother at 39.

  3. scribeofsolomon0522 says:

    More knife violence. When do we hear the calls for stronger knife laws?

    And will the killer be let out with no bail?

  4. johnnyalpha says:

    God Bless you and your Family, Dear God I am so sorry for your Loss.
    She will always be seen as a Giant in placing herself in harms way for another. GOD BLESS to you and your Family.

    God Bless sweet beautiful Giant of women.

    The Global Brotherhood of Bouncers.
    THE B.R.A.W.L

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