Police: Homeless Woman Killed Shelter Coordinator with Ax

(AP) A judge has ordered a mental evaluation for a homeless shelter resident accused of using an ax and knife to kill the shelter’s coordinator in front of horrified workers.

Zaaina Mahvish-Jammeh, 38, purchased the ax from a hardware store before requesting a meeting with the shelter coordinator, and used the ax to strike the victim multiple times in the shelter’s living room, police said.

She pleaded not guilty to murder on Tuesday, a day after the attack, and remains jailed.

Leah Rosin-Pritchard, 36, suffered injuries to her face, neck and torso and was pronounced dead at the scene at Morningside House, a shelter operated by Groundworks Collaborative, police said. Police said Mahvish-Jammeh used an ax with an 18-inch handle and a knife in the attack.

Groundworks Collaborative described Rosin-Pritchard as “a wonderfully strong, positive, beautiful and compassionate person.” She was a volleyball coach, a culinary instructor and social worker in Rhode Island before moving to Vermont to become the coordinator at Morningside House, officials said.

Mahvish-Jammeh had been living at the house for months, and the attack was captured on security video. “There are no words to express the depth of loss felt by her Groundworks teammates and residents,” Groundworks said in a statement.

David Sleigh, attorney for Mahvish-Jammeh, declined comment on Thursday.