Homeless shelter staff take month off after co-worker killed

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (AP) – A Vermont homeless shelter where police say a resident killed the coordinator using an ax and a knife last week will be closed for the rest of the month as staff take three weeks off to grieve the loss of their co-worker, an official said.

Zaaina Mahvish-Jammeh, 38, pleaded not guilty last Tuesday to killing Leah Rosin-Pritchard, 36, on April 3, at Morningside House in front of co-workers. The judge ordered a mental health evaluation for Mahvish-Jammeh.

“It is clear that our entire staff needs a pause in order to come together to grieve, work together toward healing, and figure out our way forward,” said Josh Davis, executive director of Groundworks Collaborative, which operates the shelter.

Overnight shelter clients have been moved into motels for the three-week period, funded by the Vermont Office of Economic Opportunity, Davis said in a statement. Groundworks is working together with community partners to cover other services, he said.

A candlelight vigil was held for Rosin-Pritchard on Friday night in Brattleboro, the Brattleboro Reformer reported.

The lawyer for Mahvish-Jammeh declined to comment last week.

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