Getting Over the Horror of the Crossbow Slaying

Following up on our earlier story about the crossbow murder at Toronto's Main Street Branch Library, library staff and patrons are spending the weekend in counselling and the library remains closed.

Toronto Star reports: It was the busiest time of day on the busiest day of the week — as toddlers learned new words, students surfed the web, librarians checked-out books — when a crossbow fired a bolt through Si Cheng’s back.

The 52-year-old died, right there, the Main St. public library on Thursday, just after 4 p.m. His 24-year-old son, Zhou Fang is charged with pulling the trigger.

“This is a very unusual incident,” said Anne Marie Aikins, communications manager for Toronto Public Library. “So we’re trying to make sure anyone affected by it gets their needs met.”

Several after-school programs were underway when Cheng was murdered, including Ready for Reading — a program for kids 5 and under. Teenagers were arriving post class. Librarians were switching shifts.

“It was a bustling place at the time,” said Aikins.

In their panic, many people left knapsacks and books behind. Many are still logged into computers. And the library has a record of members signed up for the several programs going on at the time.

Library officials will be allowed back into the Main St. branch on Sunday. From the information and items left behind, patrons will be contacted and offered support, Aikins said.

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Warned Repeatedly But Never Actually Banned From the Library

Main St. library patron Elizabeth Bellerose, who goes every day but was out of town when the attack happened, said she recognized Cheng’s photo in the media.

“He would go there daily, like a few times a day,” she said. “He was quiet.”

Bellerose said she had seen him several times looking at pornography on the Internet, and complained to library staff. She said Cheng was warned repeatedly but never actually banned from the library.

Source: Destitute Crossbow Victim Sought Help | The Toronto Star

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