ENGLAND — Jodie Willsher, a 30-year-old employee at an Aldi store in Skipton, North Yorkshire, was stabbed to death, while on the job, in front of multiple horrified shoppers.
Around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, an unidentified man came up to Willsher and began stabbing her. Aldi employees and several shoppers attempted to tackle and detain a 44-year-old suspect to the ground before cops arrived.
According to The Telegraph, one witness heard “loads of screams, everyone screamed and ran,” and then saw Willsher lying on the floor, while shoppers and colleagues kept the attacker pinned down.
“I just saw the aftermath,” the witness recalled. “I was so scared I ran off. All the staff were racing about not knowing what to do.”
Cops arrived within minutes, and Willsher was immediately transported to a local hospital, where she died. The suspect was arrested on attempted murder charges, according to authorities. Police also indicated it was unclear if Willsher knew the attacker, but claimed they believe the incident was neither terror-related nor a hate crime.
Shopper Wilf Beattie, 68, told how he floored the suspect with a punch and stopped him escaping by wrapping a belt and cling film round his legs.
He heard the commotion and saw Mrs Willsher lying motionless on the ground in a pool of blood.
The grandfather-of-eight said he punched the man accused of the murder in the face several times before dragging him to the floor and restraining him.
He told how he shouted to the man, who didn’t say a word throughout, “you b——” before police led him away in handcuffs.
Mr. Beattie said in a phone interview afterwards, “The cops came and put the bracelets on him and got him up. The man didn’t say a word, he just looked down at her.”
The attacker was originally arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, but after Willsher died, police have now charged him with murder. He has been identified as Neville John Hord, 44, and is scheduled to appear before magistrates in York on Saturday, The Independent reported.
Willsher’s friends quickly began posting emotional tributes on social media.
“I woke this morning hoping that yesterday was all just a bad dream, Jodie Willsher,” Richard Gardner posted on Facebook. “Sleep tight my beautiful bestie. Words cannot even begin to describe how devastated we all are! You were one of a kind, and you will definitely be the brightest star shining in the sky! We will all love and miss you forever, but we will all be thankful everyday that we got to have you in our lives!”
“For words left unspoken, and never having chance to say goodbye,” Gemma Lister wrote. “My heart breaks for you, your family and friends.”
Willsher was married and had a young daughter.
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