What to Know
- A female security officer working at a Rockland County library died after getting stabbed multiple times by an attacker who lunged at her after she told him to lower the music on his phone, according to authorities
- The investigation into the incident revealed that Blanchard Glaudin became annoyed with Wilson when she asked him to turn down his music, which he was playing through his earphones, police said
- The 25-year-old resident of the town pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder charges; the DA is investigating why he was out free after having been arrested for rape two months prior
The Rockland County district attorney said that his office will be launching an investigation into why the suspect in a deadly library stabbing was out on the streets after having been arrested for rape two months ago.
Tom Walsh said that while he was not in the office at the time of Blanchard Glaudin's arrest in December for a rape that occurred the month before, he would instruct his team to review the case thoroughly.
"As we try to understand the tragedy that occurred on Tuesday ... the question has arisen as to how Blanchard Glaudin could be out of jail after charges for a felony crime had been lodged against him," Walsh said in a statement. "Rest assured, I will investigate this issue and reveal the findings as soon as possible ... My office will work tirelessly to prosecute Mr. Glaudin and to provide justice to all involved."
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The announcement of the investigation comes two days after a female security officer working at the Spring Valley library died after getting stabbed multiple times by an attacker. The deadly incident occurred after the officer, Sandra Wilson, told the man to lower the music on his phone, according to authorities.
Gaudin Blanchard was at the Finklestein Library around 2 p.m. Tuesday, officials said, when he lunged at the officer after she made the comment about the music volume. Officers rushed to the third floor, where they found the victim stabbed with a large kitchen knife and the suspect being held down by other patrons.
The investigation into the incident revealed that Blanchard became annoyed with Wilson when she asked him to turn down his music, which he was playing through his earphones, police say, adding that he then attacked Wilson with a six-inch blade he had concealed.
The 52-year-old Wilson was rushed to nearby Good Samaritan Hospital, where she died from her injuries. Friends and coworkers told NBC New York Wilson had worked security at the library for more than a decade.
Police said Blanchard tried to escape right after the attack, but several people in the library jumped into action and held him down until police arrived, including a 15-year-old.
Blanchard was taken into police custody and subsequently arraigned. The 25-year-old resident of the town pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder charges while handcuffed and sporting a bulletproof vest during his hearing.
Workers at the library said the suspect was known to staff from previous visits and encounters with security.
"Patrons all loved her, everyone would come in and say hi to her," said library clerk Christine Ball. "She would greet everybody with a smile, a pleasant attitude."
In the hours after her death, those who knew Wilson gathered outside the library for a vigil with candles and flowers in her memory. One of the library employees described what her coworkers witnessed, including Wilson's calls for help in the moments immediately after the attack.
"She said ‘I can't breathe, I can't breathe,’" said Roseline Willis. "My coworker kept saying 'You’re going to make it,’ and she didn't make it."
Blanchard is scheduled to be back in court on Feb. 24.