A Chicago man has been charged in the brutal stabbing death of a Chase bank employee inside the branch in what authorities described as a random attack.
Jessica Vilaythong, 24, was inside the bank when she was stabbed on her neck around 11 a.m. after “having a brief conversation” with a man, police said. She was taken to a hospital in critical condition and later died.
Jawaun Westbrooks, 35, a Chicago resident, is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the stabbing death, authorities said Friday.
Westbrooks was also charged in 2014 with attacking two women with a hammer at Navy Pier, police said.
Fox 32 Chicago reported that Vilaythong graduated from the University of Illinois last year.
“We are devastated by the passing of our colleague Jessica Vilaythong and extend our deepest sympathies to her family and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time,” a Chase statement to Fox News reads. “Jessica was a wonderful person and valued employee. She was extremely outgoing, passionate, hardworking, and quick to help clients. We will miss her greatly.”
Witnesses told investigators they saw a man screaming at pedestrians and holding a knife. He allegedly walked into the bank moments before the stabbing.
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“I saw a guy with a knife, a pretty big knife, with blood on it and he was running with a head of steam,” an eyewitness to the attack, who did not want to be identified, told the news outlet.