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Chase Bank employee dies after stabbing in River North

Victim identified as 24-year-old Jessica Vilaythong.
Chase Bank employee dies after stabbing in River North

Story updated below, after charges filed on Friday.

CHICAGO - The young woman, identified as 24-year-old, Jessica Vilaythong, who was stabbed at a Chase Bank branch on the corner of Dearborn and Ohio in River North just after 11 a.m. on Wednesday,[1] has died from her injuries at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

On Thursday morning, officials had improved her condition from critical to serious.

A motive behind the attack is still unclear, but a suspect is in custody and charges are pending.

NBC5 Chicago reported that the suspect is a 35-year-old man who was charged with two counts of aggravated battery and use of a deadly weapon after he tried to rob two 55-year-old women along the lakefront in the summer of 2014. He then hit them both in the face with a hammer, police said.[2]

The man was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Three years later, a judge ordered that he be sent to a mental health center.

NBC5 Investigates also found that, since the initial incident, the man has been charged with 11 felonies, including attempted murder and aggravated battery, records show.

UPDATE: Jawaun Westbrooks has been charged with first-degree murder, CPD said in a Friday news conference. They believe Jessica Vilaythong was attacked at random.

Jawaun Westbrooks
Jawaun Westbrooks.

Notes & References

  1. D'Onofrio, Jessica. “Charges Pending in Stabbing at Chase Bank Chicago Branch That Left Worker Critically Hurt.” ABC7 Chicago. WLS-TV, September 2, 2021. https://abc7chicago.com/chase-bank-stabbing-chicago-600-n-dearborn-downtown/10993788/. ↩︎

  2. NBC Chicago. “Suspect in Chase BANK Stabbing Connected to 2014 Navy PIER Hammer Attack.” NBC Chicago. NBC Chicago, September 2, 2021. https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/suspect-in-chase-bank-stabbing-found-as-same-man-charged-with-navy-pier-hammer-attack-in-2014/2604611/. ↩︎